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HYPERION. 



HYPERION 



A ROMANCE. 



BY 



THE AUTHOR OF " OUTRE-MER." 



"Look not mournfully into the Past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the 
Present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy Future, without fear, and with 
a manly heart." , 



VOLUME I. 



NEW YORK: 
PUBLISHED BY SAMUEL COLMAN. 

8, ASTOR HOUSE. 

1839. 



Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1839, by 

S A Mtr EL COLMAN-, 

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of New York. 



»/'. 






ik 



CAMBRIDGE: 
FOLSOM, WELLS, AND THURSTON, 

PRINTERS TO THE UNIVERSITY. 



BOOK THE FIRST. 



" Who ne'er his bread in sorrow ate^ 

Who ne'er the mournful, midnight hours 
Weeping upon his bed has sate, 
He knows you not, ye Heavenly Powers." 



VOL. I. 



■f 



BOOK THE FIRST. 



t. 



CHAPTER I. 



THE HERO. 



In John Lyly's Endymion, Sir Topas is made 
to say ; " Dost thou know what a Poet is ? Why, 
foolj a Poet is as much as one should say, — a 
Poet ! " And thou, reader, dost thou know what 
a hero is ? Why, a hero is as much as one should 
say, — a hero! Some romance-writers, however, 
say much more than this. Nay, the old Lom- 
bard, Matteo Maria Bojardo, set all the church- 
bells in Scandiano ringing, merely because he had 
found a name for one of his heroes. Here, also, 
shall church-bells be rung, but more solemnly. 

The setting of a great hope is like the setting 
of the sun. The brightness of our life is gone. 



4 HYPERION, 

Shadows of evening fall around us, and the world 
seems but a dim reflection, — itself a broader shad- 
ow. We look forward into the coming, lonely- 
night. The soul withdraws into itself. Then stars 
arise, and the night is holy. 

Paul Flemming had experienced this, though 
still young. The friend of his youth was dead. 
The bough had broken "under the burden of the 
unripe fruit." And when, after a season, he 
looked up again from the blindness of his sor- 
row, all things seemed unreal. Like the man, 
whose sight had been restored by miracle, he be- 
held men, as trees, walking. His household gods 
were broken. He had no home. His sympathies 
Cfied aloud from his desolate soul, and there came 
no answer from the busy, turbulent world around 
him. He did not willingly give way to grief. He 
struggled to be cheerful, — to be strong. But he 
could no longer look into the familiar faces of his 
friends. He could no longer live alone, where he 
had lived with her. He went abroad, that the sea 
might be between him and the grave. Alas ! be- 



A ROMANCE. 



tween him and his sorrow there could be no sea, 
but that of time. 

He had already passed many months in lonely 
wandering, and was now pursuing his way along 
the Rhine, to the south of Germany. He had 
journeyed the same way before, in brighter days 
and a brighter season of the year, in the May of 
life and in the month of May. He knew the 
beauteous river all by heart ; — every rock and 
ruin, every echo, every legend. The ancient 
castles, grim and hoar, that had taken root as it 
were on the cliffs, — they were all his ; for his 
thoughts dwelt in them, and the wind told him 
tales. 

He had passed a sleepless night at Rolandseck, 
and had risen before daybreak. He opened the 
window of the balconv to hear the rushino^ of the 
Rhine. It was a damp December morning ; and 
clouds were passing over the sky, — thin, vapory 
clouds, whose snow-white skirts were •' often spot- 
ted with golden tears, which men call stars." The 
day dawned slowly ; and, in the mingling of day- 



6 HYPERION, 

light and starlight, the island and cloister of Non- 
nenwerth made together but one broad, dark shad- 
ow on the silver breast of the river. Beyond, 
rose the summits of the Siebengebirg. Solemn 
and dark, like a monk, stood the Drachenfels, in 
his hood of mist, and rearward extended the Cur- 
tain of Mountains, back to the Wolkenburg, — the 
Castle of the Clouds. 

But Flemming thought not of the scene before 
him. Sorrow unspeakable was upon his spirit in 
that lonely hour ; and, hiding his face in his hands, 
he exclaimed aloud ; 

" Spirit of the past ! look not so mournfully at 
me with thy great, tearful eyes ! Touch me not 
with thy cold hand ! Breathe not upon me with 
the icy breath of the grave ! Chant no more 
that dirge of sorrow, through the long and silent 
watches of the night ! " 

Mournful voices from afar seemed to answer, 
" Treuenfels ! " and he remembered how others 
had suffered, and his heart grew still. 

Slowly the landscape brightened. Down the 



A ROMANCE, 



rushing stream came a boat, with its white wings 
spread, and darted like a swallow through the nar- 
row pass of God's-Help. The boatmen were 
singing, but not the song of Roland the Brave, 
which was heard of old by the weeping Hilde- 
gund, as she sat within the walls of that cloister, 
which now looked forth in the pale morning from 
amid the leafless linden trees. The dim traditions 
of those gray old times rose in the traveller's 
memory ; for the ruined tower of Rolandseck was 
still looking down upon the Kloster Nonnenwerth, 
as if the sound of the funeral bell had changed the 
faithful Paladin to stone, and he were watching still 
to see the form of his beloved one come forth, not 
from her cloister, but from her grave. Thus the 
brazen clasps of the book of legends were open- 
ed, and, on the page illuminated by the misty rays 
of the rising sun, he read again the tales of Liba, 
and the mournful bride of Argenfels, and Sieg- 
fried, the mighty slayer of the dragon. Meanwhile 
the mists had risen from the Rhine, and the whole 
air was filled with golden vapor, through which he 



8 HYPERION, 

beheld the sun, hanging in heaven hke a drop of 
blood. Even thus shone the sun within him, amid 
the wintry vapors, uprising from the valley of the 
shadow of death, through which flowed the stream 
of his life, — sighing, sighing ! 



A ROMANCE. 



CHAPTER II. 

THE CHRIST OF ANDERNACH. 

Paul Flemming resumed his solitary journey. 
The morning was still misty, but not cold. Across 
the Rhine the sun came wading through the red- 
dish vapors ; and soft and silver-white outspread 
the broad river, without a ripple upon its surface, 
or visible motion of the ever-moving current. A 
little vessel, with one loose sail, was riding at an- 
chor, keel to keel with another, that lay right un- 
der it, its own apparition, — and all was silent, 
and calm, and beautiful. 

The road was for the most part solitary ; for 
there are few travellers upon the Rhine in win- 
ter. Peasant women were at w^ork in the vine- 
yards ; climbing up the slippery hill-sides, like 

beasts of burden, with large baskets of manure 

I # 



10 HYPERION, 

upon their backs. And once during the morning, 
a band of apprentices, with knapsacks, passed 
by, singing, "The Rhine !, The Rhine! a bles- 
sing on the Rhine ! " 

O, the pride of the German heart in this no- 
ble river ! And right it is ; for, of all the rivers of 
this beautiful earth, there is none so beautiful as 
this. There is hardly a league of its whole course, 
from its cradle in the ^owy Alps to its grave in 
the sands of Holland, which boasts not its peculiar 
charms. By heavens ! If I were a German I 
would be proud of it too; and of the clustering 
grapes, that hang about its temples, as it reels on- 
ward through vineyards, in a triumphal march, 
like Bacchus, crowned and drunken. 

But I will not attempt to describe the Rhine ; it 
would make this chapter much too long. And to 
do it well, one should write like a god ; and his 
style flow onward royally with breaks and dashes, 
like the waters of that royal river, and antique, 
quaint, and Gothic times, be reflected in it. Alas ! 
this evening my style flows not at all. Flow, 



A ROMANCE. 11 

then, into this smoke-colored goblet, thou blood of 
the Rhine ! out of thy prison-house, — out of 
thy long-necked, tapering flask, in shape not un- 
like a church-spire among thy native hills ; and, 
from the crystal belfry, loud ring the merry tink- 
ling bells, while I drink a health to my hero, in 
whose heart is sadness, and in whose ears the bells 
of Andernach are ringing noon. 

He is threading his way alone through a narrow 
alley, and now up a flight of stone steps, and 
along the city wall, towards that old round tower, 
built by the Archbishop Frederick of Cologne in 
the twelfth century. It has a romantic interest in 
his eyes; for he has still in his mind and heart 
that beautiful sketch of Carove, in which is de- 
scribed a day on the tower of Andernach. He 
finds the old keeper and his wife still there ; and 
the old keeper closes the door behind him slowly, 
as of old, lest he should jam too hard the poor 
souls in Purgatory, whose fate it is to suffer in the 
cracks of doors and hinges. But alas ! alas ! the 
daughter, the maiden with long, dark eyelashes ! 



12 HYPERION, 

she is asleep in her little grave, under the lin- 
den trees of Feldkirche, with rosemary in her fold- 
ed hands ! 

Flemming returned to the hotel disappointed. 
As he passed along the narrow streets, he was 
dreaming of many things ; but mostly of the keep- 
er's daughter, asleep in the churchyard of Feld- 
kirche. Suddenly, on turning the corner of an 
ancient, gloomy church, his attention was arrest- 
ed by a little chapel in an angle of the wall. It 
was only a small thatched roof, like a bird's nest ; 
under which stood a rude wooden image of the 
Saviour on the Cross. A real crown of thorns was 
upon his head, which was bowed downward, as if 
in the death agony ; and drops of blood were 
falling down his cheeks, and from his hands and 
feet and side. The face was haggard and ghastly 
beyond all expression ; and wore a look of unutter- 
able bodil}'' anguish. The rude sculptor had given 
it this, but his art could go no farther. The 
sublimity of death in a dying Saviour, the expiring 
God-likeness of Jesus of Nazareth was not there. 



A ROMANCE. 13 

The artist had caught no heavenly inspiration from 
his theme. All was coarse, harsh, and revolting 
to a sensitive mind ; and Flemming turned away 
with a shudder, as he saw this fearful image gazing 
at him, with its fixed and half-shut eyes. 

He soon reached the hotel, but that face of 
agony still haunted him. He could not refrain 
from speaking of it to a very old woman, who 
sat knitting by the window of the dining-room, in 
a high-backed, old-fashioned arm-chair. I believe 
she was the innkeeper's grandmother. At all 
events she was old enough to be so. She took oiF 
her owl-eyed spectacles, and, as she wiped the 
glasses with her handkerchief, said ; 

" Thou dear Heaven ! Is it possible ! Did you 
never hear of the Christ of Andernach?" 

Flemmino; answered in the neo;ative. 

" Thou dear Heaven 1 " continued the old wo- 
man. " It is a very wonderful story ; and a true 
one, as every good Christian in Andernach will 
tell you. And it all happened before the death 



14 HYPERION, 

of my blessed man, four years ago, let me see, — 
yes, four years ago, come Chrislmas." 

Here the old woman stopped speaking, but 
went on with her knitting. Other thoughts seem- 
ed to occupy her mind. She was thinking, no 
doubt, of her blessed man, as German widows 
call their dead husbands. But Flemming having 
expressed an ardent wish to hear the wonderful 
story, she told it, in nearly the following w^ords. 

" There was once a poor old woman in Ander- 
nach whose name w^as Frau Martha, and she lived 
all alone in a house by herself, and loved all the 
Saints and the blessed Virgin, and was as good as 
an angel, and sold pies down by the Rheinkrahn. 
But her house was very old, and the roof-tiles 
were broken, and she was too poor to get new ones, 
and the rain kept coming in, and no Christian soul 
in Andernach would help her. But the Frau 
Martha was a good woman, and never did anybody 
any harm, but went to mass every morning, and 
sold pies by the Rheinkrahn. Now one dark, 
windy night, when all the good Christians in Ander- 



A ROMANCE, 15 

nach were abed and asleep in the feathers, Frau 
Martha, who slept under the roof, heard a great 
noise over her head, and in her chamber, drip! 
drip ! drip ! as if the rain were dropping down 
through the broken tiles. Dear soul ! and sure 
enough it was. And then there was a pounding 
and hammering overhead, as if somebody were at 
work on the roof; and she thought it was Pelz- 
Nickel tearing the tiles off, because she had not 
been to confession often enouojh. So she beo^an to 
pray; and the faster she said her Pater-noster 
and her Ave-Maria, the faster Pelz-Nickel pound- 
ed and pulled ; and drip ! drip ! drip ! it went all 
round her in the dark chamber, till the poor 
woman was frightened out of her wits, and ran to 
the window to call for help. Then in a moment 
all was still, — death-still. But she saw a light 
streaming through the mist and rain, and a great 
shadow on the house opposite. And then some- 
body came down from the top of her house by a 
ladder, and had a lantern in his hand ; and he took 
the ladder on his shoulder and went down the 



16 HYPERION, 

Street. But she could not see clearly, because 
the window was streaked with rain. And in the 
morning the old broken tiles were found scattered 
about the street, and there were new ones on the 
roof, and the old house has never leaked to this 
blessed day. 

"As soon as mass was over Frau Martha told the 
priest what had happened, and he said it was not 
Pelz-Nickel, but, without doubt, St. Castor or St. 
Florian. Then she went to the market and told 
Frau Bridget all about it ; and Frau Bridget said, 
that, two nights before, Hans Claus, the cooper, 
had heard a great pounding in his shop, and in 
the morning found new hoops on all his old hogs- 
heads ; and that a man with a lantern and a ladder 
had been seen riding out of town at midnight on a 
donkey, and that the same night the old windmill, 
at Kloster St. Thomas, had been mended up, and 
the old gate of the churchyard at Feldkirche made 
as good as new, though nobody knew how the 
man got across the river. Then Frau Martha 
went down to the Rheinkrahn and told all these 



A ROMANCE. 17 

Stories over again ; and the old ferryman of Fahr 
said he could tell something about it ; for, the very- 
night that the churchyard-gate was mended, he 
was Ivins: awake in his bed, because he could not 
sleep, and he heard a loud knocking at the door, 
and somebody calling to him to get up and set 
. him over the river. And when he got up, he saw 
a man down by the river with a lantern and a lad- 
der ; but as he was going down to him, the man 
blew out the light, and it was so dark he could not 
see who he was ; and his boat was old and leaky, 
and he was afraid to set him over in the dark ; but 
the man said he must be in Andernach that night; 
and so he set him over. And after they had 
crossed the river, he watched the man, till he 
came to an image of the Holy Virgin, and saw 
him put the ladder against the wall, and go up and 
light his lamp, and then walk along the street. 
And in the morning he found his old boat all 
caulked, and tight, and painted red, and he could 
not for his blessed life tell who did it, unless it were 



18 HYPERION, 

the man with the lantern. Dear soul ! how- 
strange it was ! 

" And so it went on for some time ; and, when- 
ever the man with the lantern had been seen walk- 
ing through the street at night, so sure as the 
morning came, some vvork had been done for the 
sake of some good soul ; and everybody knew he 
did it ; and yet nobody could find out who he was, 
nor where he lived ; — for, whenever they came 
near him, he blew out his light, and turned down 
another street, and, if they followed him, he sud- 
denly disappeared, nobody could tell how. And 
some said it was Riibezahl ; and some, Pelz-Nick- 
el ; and some, St. Anthony-on-the-Heath. 

" Now one stormy night a poor, sinful creature 
was wandering about the streets, with her babe 
in her arms, and she was hungry, and cold, and 
no soul in Andernach would take her in. And 
when she came to the church, where the great 
crucifix stands, she saw no light in the little chapel 
at thecorner ; but she sat down on a stone at the 
foot of the cross and began to pray, and prayed, 



A ROMANCE. 19 

till she fell asleep, with her poor little babe on 
her bosom. But she did not sleep long ; for a 
bright light shone full in her face ; and, when she 
opened her eyes, she saw a pale man, with a lan- 
tern, standing right before her. He was almost 
naked ; and there was blood upon his hands and 
body, and great tears in his beautiful eyes, and 
his face was like the face of the Saviour on the 
cross. Not a single word did he say to the poor 
woman ; but looked at her compassionately, and 
gave her a loaf of bread, and took the little babe 
in his arms, and kissed it. Then the mother 
looked up to the great crucifix, but there was no 
image there ; and she shrieked and fell down as 
if she were dead. And there she was found with 
her child ; and a few days after they both died, 
and were buried together in one grave. And no- 
body would have believed her story, if a woman, 
who lived at the corner, had not gone to the win- 
dow, when she heard the scream, and seen the 
figure hang the lantern up in its place, and then 
set the ladder against the wall, and go up and nail 




20 HYPERION, 

« 

itself to the cross. Since that night it has nev- 
er moved again. Ach ! Herr Je ! " 

Such was the legend of the Christ of Ander- 
nach, as the old woman in spectacles told it to 
Flemming. It made a painful impression on his 
sick and morbid soul ; and he felt now for the 
first time in full force, how great is the power of 
popular superstition. 

The post-chaise was now at the door, and 
Flemming was soon on the road to Coblentz, a city 
which stands upon the Rhine, at the mouth of the 
Mosel, opposite Ehrenbreitstein. It is by no 
means a long drive from Andernach to Coblentz ; 
and the only incident which occurred to enliven 
the way was the appearance of a fat, red-faced 
man on horseback, trotting slowly towards Ander- 
nach. As they met, the mad httle postilion gave 
him a friendly cut with his whip, and broke out 
into an exclamation, which showed he was from 
Miinster ; 

" Jesmariosp ! my friend ! How is the Man in 
the Custom-House ? '^ 




A ROMANCE. 21 

Now to any candid mind this would seem a fair 
question enough ; but not so thought the red-faced 
man on horseback ; for he waxed exceedingly an- 
gry, and replied, as the chaise whirled by ; 

" The devil take you, and your Westphalian 
ham, and pumpernickel ! '' 

Flemming called to his servant, and the servant 
to the postilion, for an explanation of this short 
dialogue ; and the explanation was, that on the 
belfry of the Kaufhaus in Coblentz, is a huge 
head, with a brazen helmet and a beard ; and 
whenever the clock strikes, at each stroke of the 
hammer, this giant's head opens its great jaws and 
smites its teeth together, as if, like the brazen 
head of Friar Bacon, it would say ; " Time was ; 
Time is ; Time is past." This figure is known 
through all the country round about, as " The 
Man in the Custom-House " ; and, when a friend in 
the country meets a friend from Coblentz, instead 
of saying, " How are all the good people in Cob- 
lentz ? " — he says, "How is the Man in the 
Custom-House ? " Thus the giant has a great part 



22 HYPERION, 

to play in the town ; and thus ended the first day 
of Flemming's Rhine-journey ; and the only good 
deed he had done was to give an alms to a poor 
beggar woman, who lifted up her trembling hands 
and exclaimed ; 

" Thou blessed babe ! " 



A ROMANCE. 23 



CHAPTER III. 



HOMUNCULUS. 



After all, a journey up the Rhine, in the mists 
and solitude of Decen:iber, is not so unpleasant as 
the reader may perhaps imagine. You have the 
whole road and river to yourself. Nobody is on 
the wing ; hardly a single traveller. The ruins 
are the same ; and the river, and the outlines of 
the hills ; and there are few living figures in the 
landscape to wake you from your musings, dis- 
tract your thoughts, and cover you with dust. 

Thus, likewise, thought our traveller, as he con- 
tinued his journey on the morrow. The day is 
overcast, and the clouds threaten rain or snow. 
Why does he stop at the httle village of Capellen ? 
Because, right above him on the high cliff, the glo- 
rious ruin of Stolzenfels is looking at him with its 



24 HYPERION, 

hollow eyes, and beckoning to him with its gigantic 
finger, as if to say ; " Come up hither, and I will 
tell thee an old tale." Therefore he alights, and 
goes up the narrow village lane, and up the stone 
steps, and up the steep pathway, and throws him- 
self into the arms of that ancient ruin, and holds 
his breath, to hear the quick footsteps of the fall- 
ing snow, like the footsteps of angels descending 
upon earth. And that ancient ruin speaks to him 
with its hollow voice, and says ; 

" Beware of dreams ! Beware of the illusions 
of fancy ! Beware of the solemn deceivings of thy 
vast desires ! Beneath me flows the Rhine, and, 
like the stream of Time, it flows amid the ruins of 
the Past. I see myself therein, and I know that 
I am old. Thou, too, shalt be old. Be wise in 
season. Like the stream of thy life, runs the 
stream beneath us. Down from the distant Alps, 
— out into the wide world, it bursts away, like a 
youth from the house of his fathers. Broad-breast- 
ed and strong, and with earnest endeavours, like 
manhood, it makes itself a way through these difii- 



A ROMANCE. 25 

cult mountain passes. And at length, in its old 
age, its stops, and its steps are weary and slow, 
and it sinks into the sand, and, through its grave, 
passes into the great ocean, which is its eter- 
nity. Thus shall it be with thee. 

" In ancient times there dwelt within these halls 
a follower of Jesus of Jerusalem, — an Archbish- 
op in the church of Christ. He gave himself up 
to dreams ; to the illusions of fancy ; to the vast 
desires of the human soul. He sought after the 
impossible. He sought after the Elixir of Life, 
— the Philosopher's Stone. The wealth, that 
should have fed the poor, was melted in his cru- 
cibles. Within these walls the Eagle of the clouds 
sucked the blood of the Red Lion, and received 
the spiritual Love of the Green Dragon, but alas 1 
was childless. In solitude and utter silence did 
the disciple of the Hermetic Philosophy toil from 
day to day, from night to night. From the place 
where thou standest, he gazed at evening upon 
hills, and vales, and waters spread beneath him ; 
and saw how the setting sun had changed them all 

VOL. I. 2 



26 HYPERION, 

to gold, by an alchymy more cunning than his 
own. He saw the world beneath his feet ; and 
said in his heart, that he alone was wise. Alas ! 
he read more willingly in the book of Paracel- 
sus, than in the book of Nature ; and, believing 
that 'where reason hath experience, faith hath 
no mind,' would fain have made unto himself a 
child, not as Nature teaches us, but as the Philos- 
opher taught, — a poor homunculus, in a glass bot- 
tle. And he died poor and childless ! " 

Whether it were worth while to climb the Stol- 
zenfels to hear such a homily as this, some persons 
may perhaps doubt. But Paul Flemming doubt- 
ed not. He laid the lesson to heart ; and it would 
have saved him many an hour of sorrow, if he had 
learned that lesson better, and remembered it 
longer. 

In ancient times, there stood in the citadel of 
Athens three statues of Minerva. The first was 
of olive wood, and, according to popular tradition, 
had fallen from heaven. The second was of 
bronze, commemorating the victory of Marathon ; 



A ROMANCE. 27 

and the third of gold and ivory, — a great miracle 
of art, in the age of Pericles. And thus in the 
citadel of Time stands Man himself. In child- 
hood, shaped of soft and delicate wood, just fallen 
from heaven ; in manhood, a statue of bronze, 
commemorating struggle and victory ; and lastly, 
in the maturity of age, perfectly shaped in gold 
and ivory, — a miracle of art ! 

Flemming had already lived through the olive- 
age. He was passing into the age of bronze, in- 
to his early manhood ; and in his hands the flow- 
ers of Paradise were changing to the sword and 
shield. 

And this reminds me, that I have not yet de- 
scribed my hero. I will do it now, as he stands 
looking down on the glorious landscape ; — but in 
few words. Both in person and character he re- 
sembled Harold, the Fair-Hair of Norway, who 
is described, in the old Icelandic Death-Song of 
Regner Hairy-Breeches, as " the young chief so 
proud of his flowing locks ; he who spent his morn- 
ings among the young maidens ; he who loved to 



28 HYPERION, 

converse with the handsome widows." This was 
an amiable weakness ; and it sometimes led him 
into mischief. Imagination was the riding power 
of his mind. His thoughts were twin-born; the 
thought itself, and its figurative semblance in the 
outer world. Thus, through the quiet, still waters 
of his soul each image floated double, " swan and 
shadow." 

These traits of character, a good heart and a 
poetic imagination, made his life joyous and the 
world beautiful ; till at length Death cut down the 
sweet, blue flower, that bloomed beside him, and 
wounded him with that sharp sickle, so that he 
bowed his head, and would fain have been bound 
up in the same sheaf with the sweet, blue flower. 
Then the world seemed to him less beautiful, and 
life became earnest. It would have been well if 
he could have forgotten the past ; that he might not 
so mournfully have lived in it, but might have 
enjoyed and improved the present. But this his 
heart refused to do ; and ever, as he floated upon 
the great sea of life, he looked down through the 



A ROMANCE. 29 

transparent waters, checkered with sunshine and 
shade, into the vast chambers of the mighty deep, 
in which his happier days had sunk, and where- 
in they were lying still visible, like golden sands, 
and precious stones, and pearls ; and, half in de- 
spair, half in hope, he grasped downward after 
them again, and drew back his hand, filled only 
with seaweed, and dripping with briny tears ! — 
And between him and those golden sands, a radi- 
ant image floated, like the spirit in Dante's Para- 
dise, singing ^^ Ave-Maria 1 " and while it sang, 
down-sinking, and slowly vanishing away. 

The truth is, that in all things he acted more 
from impulse than from fixed principle ; as is the 
case with most young men. Indeed, his principles 
hardly had time to take root ; for he pulled them 
all up, every now and then, as children do the 
flowers they have planted, — to see if they are 
growing. Yet there was much in him which was 
good ; for underneath the flowers and green-sward 
of poetry, and the good principles which would 
have taken root, had he given them time, there 



30 HYPERION, 

lay a strong and healthy soil of common sense, — 
freshened by living springs of feeling, and enriched 
by many faded hopes, that had fallen upon it like 
dead leaves. 



A ROMANCE. 31 



CHAPTER IV. 



THE landlady's DAUGHTER. 



" Allez Fuchs ! allez lustig ! " cried the impa- 
tient postilion to his horses, in accents, which, hke 
the wild echo of the Lurley Felsen, came first from 
one side of the river, and then from the other, — 
that is to say, in words alternately French and 
German. The truth is, he was tired of waitinor ; 
and when Flemming had at length resumed his 
seat in the post-chaise, the poor horses had to 
make up the time lost in dreams on the mountain. 
This is far oftener the case, than most people 
imagine. One half of the world has to sweat and 
groan, that the other half may dream. It would 
have been a difficult task for the traveller or his 
postilion to persuade the horses, that these dreams 
were all for their good. 



32 HYPERION, 

The next stopping-place was the little tavern of 
the Star, an out-of-the-way corner in the town of 
Salzig. It stands on the banks of the Rhine ; and, 
directly in front of it, sheer from the water's edge, 
rise the mountains of Liebenstein and Sternenfels, 
each with its ruined castle. These are the Broth- 
ers of the old tradition, still gazing at each other 
face to face ; and beneath them in the valley 
stands a cloister, — meek emblem of that orphan 
child, they both so passionately loved. 

In a small, flat-bottomed boat did the landlady's 
daughter row Flemming " over the Rhine-stream, 
rapid and roaring wide." She was a beautiful girl 
of sixteen ; with black hair, and dark, lovely eyes, 
and a face that had a story to tell. How different 
faces are in this particular 1 Some of them speak 
not. They are books in which not a line is w^'it- 
ten, save perhaps a date. Others are great family 
bibles, with all the Old and New Testament writ- 
ten in them. Others are Mother Goose and nur- 
sery tales ; — others bad tragedies or pickle-her- 
ring farces ; and others, like that of the landlady's 



A ROMANCE. 33 

daughter at the Star, sweet love-anthologies, and 
sonors of the affections. It was on that account, 
that Flemming said to her, as they glided out into 
the swift stream ; 

" My dear child ! do you know the story of the 
Liebenstein ? " 

"The story of the Liebenstein," she answered, 
"I got by heart, when I was a little child." 

And here her large, dark, passionate eyes looked 
into Flemming's, and he doubted not, that she had 
learned the story far too soon, and far too well. 
That story he longed to hear, as if it were unknown 
to him ; for he knew that the girl, who had got it 
by heart when a child, would tell it as it should 
be told. So he begged her to repeat the story, 
which she w^as but too glad to do ; for she loved 
and believed it, as if it had all been written in the 
Bible. But before she began, she rested a mo- 
ment on her oars, and taking the crucifix, which 
hung suspended from her neck, kissed it, and 
then let it sink down into her bosom, as if it were 
an anchor she was letting down into her heart. 
2* 



34 HYPERION, 

Meanwhile her moist, dark eyes were turned to 
heaven. Perhaps her soul was walking with the 
souls of Cunizza, and Rahab, and Mary Magdalen. 
Or perhaps she was thinking of that Nun, of whom 
St. Gregory says, in his Dialogues, that, having 
greedily eaten a lettuce in a garden, without mak- 
ing the sign of the cross, she found herself soon 
after possessed with a devil. 

The probabihty, however, is, that she was look- 
ing up to the ruined castles only, and not to 
heaven, for she soon began her story, and told 
Flemming how, a great, great many years ago, an 
old man lived in the Liebenstein with his two 
sons ; and how both the young men loved the La- 
dy Geraldine, an orphan, under their father's care ; 
and how the elder brother went away in despair, 
and the younger was betrothed to the Lady Ge- 
raldine; and how they were as happy as Aschen- 
puttel and the Prince. And then the holy Saint 
Bernard came and carried away all the young men 
to the war, just as Napoleon did afterwards ; and 
■the young lord went to the Holy Land, and the 



A ROMANCE. 35 

Lady Geraldine sat in her tower and wept, and 
waited for her lover's return, while the old father 
built the Sternenfels for them to live in when 
they were married. And when it was finished, the 
old man died ; and the elder brother came back 
and lived in the Liebenstein, and took care of the 
gentle Lady. Ere long there came news from 
the Holy Land, that the war was over ; and the 
heart of the gentle Lady beat with joy, till she 
heard that her faithless lover was coming back 
with a Greek wife, — the wicked man ! and then 
she went into a convent and became a holy nun. 
So the young lord of Sternenfels came home, and 
lived in his castle in great splendor with the Greek 
woman, who was a wicked woman, and did what 
she ought not to do. But the elder brother was 
angry for the wrong done the gentle Lady, and 
challenged the lord of Sternenfels to single combat. 
And, while they were fighting with their great 
swords in the valley of Bomhofen behind the cas- 
tle, the convent bells began to ring, and the La- 
dy Geraldine came forth with a train of nuns all 



36 HYPERION, 

dressed in white, and made the brothers friends 
again, and told them she was the bride of Heaven, 
and happier in her convent than she could have 
been in the Liebenstein or the Sternenfels. And 
when the brothers returned, they found that the 
false Greek wife had gone away with another 
knight. So they lived together in peace, and were 
never married. And when they died — " 

" Lisbeth I Lisbeth ! " cried a sharp voice 
from the shore, " Lisbeth ! Where are you tak- 
ing the gentleman ? " 

This recalled the poor girl to her senses ; and 
she saw how fast they were floating down stream. 
For in telling the story she had forgotten every 
thing else, and the swift current had swept them 
down to the tall walnut trees of Kamp. They 
landed in front of the Capucin Monastery. Lis- 
beth led the way through the little village, and 
turning to the right pointed up the romantic, lone- 
ly valley which leads to the Liebenstein, and 
even offered to go up. But Flemming patted her 
cheek and shook his head. He went up the 
valley alone. 



A ROMANCE. 37 



CHAPTER V. 

JEAN PAUL, THE ONLY-ONE. 

The man in the play, who wished for ^some 
forty pounds of lovely beef, placed in a Mediterra- 
nean sea of brewis/ might have seen his ample 
desires almost realized at the table d'hote of the 
Rheinischen Hof, in Mayence, where Flemming 
dined that day. At the head of the table sat a 
gentleman, with a smooth, broad forehead, and 
large, intelligent eyes. He was from Baireuth in 
Franconia ; and talked about poetry and Jean 
Paul, to a pale, romantic-looking lady on his 
right. There was music all dinner-time, at the 
other end of the hall ; a harp and a horn and a 
voice ; so that a great part of the fat gentleman's 
conversation with the pale lady was lost to Flem- 
ming, who sat opposite to her, and could look right 
into her large, melancholy eyes. But what he 



38 HYPERION, 

heard, so much interested him, — indeed, the very 
name of the beloved Jean Paul would have been 
enough for this, — that he ventured to join in the 
conversation, and asked the German if he had 
known the poet personally. 

" Yes ; I knew him well," replied the stranger. 
" I am a native of Baireuth, where he passed the 
best years of his life. In my mind the man and 
the author are closely united. 1 never read a page 
of his writings without hearing his voice, and see- 
ing his form before me. There he sits, with his 
majestic, mountainous forehead, his mild blue eyes, 
and finely cut nose and mouth ; his massive frame 
clad loosely and carelessly in an old green frock, 
from the pockets of which the corners of books 
project, and perhaps the end of a loaf of bread, 
and the nose of a bottle ; — a straw hat, lined with 
green, lying near him ; a huge walking-stick in his 
hand, and at his feet a white poodle, with pink 
eyes and a string round his neck. You would 
sooner have taken him for a master-carpenter than 
for a poet. Is he a favorite author of yours ? '* 



A ROMANCE. 39 

Flemming answered in the affirmative. 

" But a foreigner must find it exceedingly diffi- 
cult to understand him," said the gentleman. '^It 
is by no means an easy task for us Germans." 

" I have always observed," replied Flemming, 
" that the true understanding and appreciation of 
a poet depend more upon individual, than upon 
national character. If there be a sympathy be- 
tween the minds of writer and reader, the bounds 
and barriers of a foreign tongue are soon over- 
leaped. If you once understand an author's char- 
acter, the comprehension of his writings becomes 
easy." 

" Very true," replied the German, " and the 
character of Richter is too marked to be easily 
misunderstood. Its prominent traits are tenderness 
and manliness, — qualities, which are seldom found 
united in so high a degree as in him. Over all 
he sees, over all he writes, are spread the sun- 
beams of a cheerful spirit, — the light of inex- 
haustible human love. Every sound of human 
joy and of human sorrow finds a deep-resounding 



40 HYPERION, 

echo in his bosom. In every man, he loves his 
humanity only, not his superiority. The avowed 
object of all his literary labors was to raise up 
again the down-sunken faith in God, virtue, and 
immortahty ; and, in an egotistical, revolutionary 
age, to warm again our human sympathies, which 
have now grown cold. And not less boundless is 
his love for nature, — for this outward, beautiful 
world. He embraces it all in his arms." 

" Yes," answered Flemming, almost taking the 
words out of the stranger's mouth, "for in his mind 
all things become idealized. He seems to describe 
himself when he describes the hero of his Titan, 
as a child, rocking in a high wind upon the branch- 
es of a full-blossomed apple-tree, and, as its sum- 
mit, blown abroad by the wind, now sunk him in 
deep green, and now tossed him aloft in deep blue 
and glancing sunshine, — in his imagination stood 
that tree gigantic ; — it grew alone in the uni- 
verse, as if it were the tree of eternal life ; its roots 
struck down into the abyss ; the white and red 
clouds hung as blossoms upon it ; the moon as 



A ROMANCE. 41 

fruit ; the little stars sparkled like dew, and Alba- 
no reposed in its measureless summit ; and a storm 
swayed the summit out of Day into Night, and out 
of Night into Day." 

" Yet the spirit of love," interrupted the Fran- 
conian, ^' was not weakness, but strength. It was 
united in him with great manliness. The sword 
of his spirit had been forged and beaten by pov- 
erty. Its temper had been tried by a thirty years' 
war. It was not broken, not even blunted ; but 
rather strengthened and sharpened by the blows it 
gave and received. And, possessing this noble spir- 
it of humanity, endurance, and self-denial, he made 
literature his profession ; as if he had been divinely 
commissioned to write. He seems to have cared 
for nothing else, to have thought of nothing else, 
than hving quietly and making books. He says, 
that he felt it his duty, not to enjoy, nor to ac- 
quire, but to write ; and boasted, that he had made 
as many books as he had lived years." 

" And what do you Germans consider the prom- 
inent characteristics of his genius ? " 



42 HYPERION, 

" Most undoubtedly his wild imagination and 
his playfulness. He throws over all things a 
strange and magic coloring. You are startled at 
the boldness and beauty of his figures and illustra- 
tions, which are scattered everywhere with a reck- 
less prodigality ; — multitudinous, like the blossoms 
of early summer, — and as fragrant and beautiful. 
With a thousand extravagances are mingled ten 
thousand beauties of thought and expression, which 
kindle the reader's imagination, and lead it onward 
in a bold flight, through the glow of sunrise and 
sunset, and the dewy coldness and starhght of sum- 
mer nights. He is difficult to understand, — intri- 
cate, — strange, — drawing his illustrations from ev- 
ery by-corner of science, art, and nature, — a com- 
et, among the bright stars of German literature. 
When you read his works, it is as if you were 
climbing a high mountain, in merry company, to 
see the sun rise. At times you are enveloped in 
mist, — the morning wind sweeps by you with a 
shout, — you hear the far-off muttering thunders. 
Wide beneath you spreads the landscape, — field, 



A ROMANCE. 43 

meadoWj town, and winding river. The ringing of 
distant church-bells, or the sound of solemn village 
clock, reaches you ; — then arises the sweet and 
manifold fragrance of flowers, — the birds begin to 
sing, — the vapors roll away, — up comes the glo- 
rious sun, — you revel like the lark in the sun- 
shine and bright blue heaven, and all is a dehrious 
dream of soul and sense, — when suddenly a friend 
at your elbow laughs aloud, and offers you a piece 
of Bologna sausage. As in real life, so in his 
writings, — the serious and the comic, the subhme 
and the grotesque, the pathetic and the ludicrous 
are mingled together. At times he is sententious, 
energetic, simple; then again, obscure and dif- 
fuse. His thoughts are like mummies embalmed 
in spices, and wrapped about with curious envel- 
opements ; but within these the thoughts them- 
selves are kings. At times glad, beautiful images, 
airy forms, move by you, graceful, harmonious ; — 
at times the glaring, wild-looking fancies, chained 
together by hyphens, brackets, and dashes, brave 
and base, high and low, all in their motley dress- 



44 HYPERION, 

es, go sweeping down the dusty page, like the gal- 
ley-slaves, that sweep the streets of Rome, where 
you may chance to see the nobleman and the 
peasant manacled together." 

Flemming smiled at the German's warmth, to 
which the presence of the lady, and the Lauben- 
heimer wine, seemed each to have contributed 
something, and then said ; 

" Better an outlaw, than not free ! — These are 
his own words. And thus he changes at his will. 
Like the God Thor, of the old Northern mytholo- 
gy, he now holds forth the seven bright stars in 
the bright heaven above us, and now hides him- 
self in clouds, and pounds away with his great 
hammer." 

"And yet this is not affectation in him," re- 
joined the German. " It is his nature, it is Jean 
Paul. And the figures and ornaments of his style, 
wild, fantastic, and oft-times startling, like those 
in Gothic cathedrals, are not merely what they 
seem, but massive coignes and buttresses, which 
support the fabric. Remove them, and the roof 



A ROMANCE. 45 

and walls fall in. And through these gargoyles, 
these wild faces, carved upon spouts and gutters, 
flow out, like gathered rain, the bright, abundant 
thouo-hts, that have fallen from heaven. 

" And all he does, is done with a kind of seri- 
ous playfulness. He is a sea-monster, disporting 
himself on the broad ocean ; his very sport is ear- 
nest ; there is something majestic and serious about 
it. In every thing there is strength, a rough good- 
nature, all sunshine overhead, and underneath the 
heavy moaning of the sea. Well may he be 
called ' Jean Paul, the Only-One.' " 

With such discourse the hour of dinner passed ; 
and after dinner Flemming went to the Cathedral. 
They were singing vespers. A beadle, dressed in 
blue, with a cocked hat, and a crimson sash and 
collar, was strutting, like a turkey, along the aisles. 
This important gentleman conducted Flemming 
through the church, and showed him the choir, 
with its heavy-sculptured stalls of oak, and the 
beautiful figures in brown stone, over the bishops' 
tombs. He then led him, by a side-door, into the 



46 HYPERION, 

old and ruined cloisters of St. Willigis. Through 
the low gothic arches the sunshine streamed upon 
the pavement of tombstones, whose images and 
inscriptions are mostly effaced by the footsteps 
of many generations. There stands the tomb of 
Frauenlob, the Minnesinger. His face is sculp- 
tured on an entablature in the wall; a fine, strong- 
ly-marked, and serious countenance. Below it is 
a bas-relief, representing the poet's funeral. He 
is carried to his grave by ladies, whose praise he 
sang, and thereby won the name of Frauenlob. . 

" This then," said Flemming, " is the grave, 
not of Praise-God Bare-bones, but of Praise-the- 
Ladies Meissen, who wrote songs 'somewhat of 
lust, and somewhat of love.' But where sleeps 
the dust of his rival and foe, sweet Master Bar- 
tholomew Rainbow ? " 

He meant this for an aside ; but the turkey- 
cock picked it up and answered ; 

" I do not know. He did not belong to this 
parish." 

It was already night, when Flemming crossed 



A ROMANCE. 47 

the Roman bridge over the Nahe, and entered 
the town of Bingen. He stopped at the White 
Horse ; and, before going to bed, looked out into 
the dim starlight from his window towards the 
Rhine, and his heart leaped up to behold the bold 
outline of the neighbouring hills crested with Goth- 
ic ruins; — which in the morning proved to be 
only a high, slated roof with fantastic chimneys. 

The morning was bright and frosty ; and the 
river tinged with gay colors from the rising sun. 
A soft, thin vapor floated in the air. In the sun- 
beams flashed the hoar-frost, like silver stars ; and 
through a long avenue of trees, whose dripping 
branches bent and scattered pearls before him, 
Paul Flemming journeyed on in triumph. 

I will not prolong this journey, for I am 
weary and way-worn, and would fain be at Hei- 
delberg with my readers, and my hero. It was 
already night when he reached the Manheim gate, 
and drove down the long Hauptstrasse so slowly, 
that it seemed to him endless. The shops were 



48 HYPERION, 

lighted on each side of the street, and he saw 
faces at the windows here and there, and figures 
passing in the lamp-hght, visible for a moment 
and then swallowed up in the darkness. The 
thoughts that filled his mind were strange ; as are 
always the thoughts of a traveller, who enters for 
the first time a strange city. This little world had 
been going on for centuries before he came ; and 
would go on for centuries after he was gone. Of 
all the thousands who inhabited it he knew no- 
thing ; and Vv^hat knew they, or thought, of the 
stranger, w^ho, in that close post-chaise, weary with 
travel, and chilled by the evening wind, was slow- 
ly rumbling over the paved street ! Truly, this 
world can go on without us, if we would but think 
so. If it had been a hearse instead of a post-chaise, 
it would have been all the same to the people of 
Heidelberg, — though by no means the same to 
Paul Flemming. 

But at the farther end of the city, near the 
Castle and the Carls-Thor, one warm heart was 



A ROMANCE. 49 

waiting to receive him : and this was the German 
heart of his friend, the Baron of Hohenfels, with 
whom he was to pass the winter in Heidelberg. 
No sooner had the carriage stopped at the iron- 
grated gate, and the postilion blown his horn, to 
announce the arrival of a traveller, than the Baron 
was seen among the servants at the door ; and, a 
few moments afterwards, the two long-absent 
friends were in each other's arms, and Flemming 
received a kiss upon each cheek, and another on 
the mouth, as the pledge and seal of the German's 
friendship. They held each other long by the 
hand, and looked into each other's faces, and saw 
themselves in each other's eyes, both literally and 
figuratively ; literally, inasmuch as the images 
were there ; and figuratively, inasmuch as each was 
imagining what the other thought of him, after the 
lapse of some years. In friendly hopes and ques- 
tionings and answers, the evening glided away at 
the supper-table, where many more things were 
discussed than the roasted hare, and the Johannis- 

VOL. I. 3 



50 HYPERION, 

berger ; and they sat late into the night, conversing 
of the thoughts and feelings and delights, which 
fill the hearts of young men, who have already 
enjoyed and suffered, and hoped and been disap- 
pointed. , 



A ROMANCE. 51 



CHAPTER VI. 

HEIDELBERG AND THE BARON. 

High and hoar on the forehead of the Jetten- 
biihl stands the Castle of Heidelberg. Behind it 
rise the oak-crested hills of the Geissberg and the 
Kaiserstuhl ; and in front, from the broad terrace 
of masonry, you can almost throw a stone upon 
the roofs of the city, so close do they he beneath. 
Above this terrace rises the broad front of the 
chapel of Saint Udalrich. On the left, stands the 
slender octagon tower of the horologe, and, on the 
right, a huge round tower, battered and shattered 
by the mace of war, shores up with its broad 
shoulders the beautiful palace and garden-terrace 
of Elisabeth, wife of the Pfalzgraf Frederick. In 
the rear are older palaces and towers, forming a 
vast, irregular quadrangle ; — Rodolph's ancient 



52 HYPERION, 

castle, with its Gothic gloriette and fantastic ga- 
bles ; the Giant's Tower, guarding the drawbridge 
over the moat ; the Rent Tower, with the linden- 
trees growing on its summit, and the magnificent 
Rittersaal of Otho-Henry, Count Palatine of the 
Rhine and grand seneschal of the Holy Roman 
Empire. From the gardens behind the castle, you 
pass under the archway of the Giant's Tower 
into the great court-yard. The diverse architec- 
ture of different ages strikes the eye ; and curious 
sculptures. In niches on the wall of Saint Udal- 
rich's chapel stand rows of knights in armour, all 
broken and dismembered ; and on the front of 
Otho's Rittersaal, the heroes of Jewish history 
and classic fable. You enter the open and deso- 
late chambers of the ruin ; and on every side are 
medallions and family arms ; the Globe of the 
Empire and the Golden Fleece, or the Eagle of 
the Caesars, resting on the escutcheons of Bavaria 
and the Palatinate. Over the windows and door- 
ways and chimney-pieces, are sculptures and 
mouldings of exquisite workmanship ; and the eye 



A ROMANCE. 53 

is bewildered by the profusion of caryatides, and 
arabesques, and rosettes, and fan-like flutings, and 
garlands of fruits and flowers and acorns, and bul- 
locks'-heads with draperies of foliage, and muzzles 
of lions, holding rings in their teeth. The cunning 
hand of Art was busy for six centuries, in raising 
and adorning these walls ; the mailed hands of Time 
and War have defaced and overthrown them in 
less than two. Next to the Alhambra of Granada, 
the Castle of Heidelberg is the most magnificent 
ruin of the Middle Ages. 

In the valley below flows the rushing stream of 
the Neckar. Close from its margin, on the oppo- 
site side, rises the Mountain of All Saints, crowned 
with the ruins of a convent ; and up the valley 
stretches the mountain-curtain of the Odenwald. 
So close and many are the hills, which eastward 
shut the valley in, that the river seems a lake. 
But westward it opens, upon the broad plain of 
the Rhine, like the mouth of a trumpet ; and like 
the blast of a trumpet is at times the wintry wind 
through this narrow mountain pass. The blue 



54 HYPERION, 

Alsatian hills rise beyond ; and, on a platform or 
strip of level land, between the Neckar and the 
mountains, right under the castle, stands the city of 
Heidelberg ; as the old song says, " a pleasant 
city, when it has done raining." 

Something of this did Paul Flemming behold, 
when he rose the next morning and looked from 
his window. It was a warm, vapory morning, and 
a struggle was going on between the mist and the 
rising sun. The sun had taken the hill-tops, but 
the mist still kept possession of the valley and the 
town. The steeple of the great church rose 
through a dense mass of snow-white clouds ; and 
eastward, on the hills, the dim vapors were rolling 
across the windows of the ruined castle, like the 
fiery smoke of a great conflagration. It seemed 
to him an image of the rising of the sun of Truth 
on a benighted world ; its light streamed through 
the ruins of centuries ; and, down in the valley of 
Time, the cross on the Christian church caught its 
rays, though the priests were singing in mist and 
darkness below. 



A ROM'ANCE. 56 

In the warm breakfast-parlour he found the 
Baron, waiting for him. He was lying upon a 
sofa, in morning gown and purple-velvet slippers, 
both with flowers upon them. He had a guitar in 
his hand, and a pipe in his mouth, at the same 
time smoking, playing, and humming his favorite 
song from Goethe ; 

" The water rushed, the water swelled, 
A fisher sat thereby." 

Flemming could hardly refrain from laughing at 
the sight of his friend ; and told him it reminded 
him of a street-musician he once saw in Aix-la- 
Chapelle, who was playing upon six instruments 
at once ; having a helmet with bells on his head, 
a Pan's-reed in his cravat, a fiddle in his hand, a 
triangle on his knee, cymbals on his heels, and 
on his back a bass-drum, which he played with his 
elbows. To tell the truth, the Baron of Hohenfels 
was rather a miscellaneous youth, rather a univer- 
sal genius. He pursued all things with eagerness, 
but for a short time only ; music, poetry, painting, 
pleasure, even the study of the Pandects. His 



56 HYPERION, 

feelings were keenly alive to the enjoyment of life. 
His great defect was, that he was too nniuch in love 
with human nature. But by the power of imagi- 
nation, in him, the bearded goat was changed to a 
bright Capricornus : — no longer an animal on * 

earth, but a constellation in heaven. An easy and 
indolent disposition made him gentle and childlike 
in his manners; and, in short, the beauty of his 
character, like that of the precious opal, was owing 
to a defect in its organization. His person was tall 
and slightly built ; his hair light ; and his eyes 
blue, and as beautiful as those of a girl. In the 
tones of his voice, there was something indescriba- 
bly gentle and winning ; and he spoke the German 
language, with the soft, musical accent of his na- 
tive province of Curland. In his manners, if he 
had not ' Antinous' easy sway,' he had at least 
an easy sway of his own. Such, in few words, 
was the bosom friend of Flemming. 

" And what do you think of Heidelberg and the 
old castle up there ? " said he, as they seated 
themselves at the breakfast-table. 



A ROMANCE. 57 

" Last night the town seemed very long to me," 
rephed Flemming ; " and as to the castle, I have 
as yet had but a glimpse of it through the mist. 
They tell me there is nothing finer in its way, ex- 
cepting the Alhambra of Granada ; and no doubt I 
shall find it so. Only I wish the stone were gray 
and not red. But, red or gray, I foresee that I 
shall waste many a long hour in its desolate halls. 
Pray, does anybody live up there now-a-days?" 

" Nobody," answered the Baron, " but the man, 
who shows the Heidelberg Ton, and Monsieur 
Charles de Grainberg, a Frenchman, who has 
been there sketching ever since the year eighteen- 
hundred and ten. He has, moreover, written a 
super-magnificent description of the ruin, in which 
he says, that during the day only birds of prey 
disturb it with their piercing cries, and at night, 
screech-owls, and other fallow deer. These are 
his own words. You must buy his book and his 
sketches." 

" Yes, the quotation and the tone of your voice 
will certainly persuade me so to do." 
3* 



58 HYPERION, 

" Take his or none, my friend, for you will find 
no others. And seriously, his sketches are very 
good. There is one on the wall there, which is 
beautiful, save and except that straddle-bug figure 
among the bushes in the corner." 

" But is there no ghost, no haunted chamber in 
the old castle ? " asked Flemming, after casting a 
hasty glance at the picture. 

" Oh, certainly," replied the Baron ; " there 
are two. There is the ghost of the Virgin Mary 
in Ruprecht's Tower, and the Devil in the Dun- 
geon." 

" Ha ! that is grand ! " exclaimed Flemming, 
with evident delight. " Tell me the whole story, 
quickly ! I am as curious as a child." 

" It is a tale of the times of Louis the Debon- 
naire," said the Baron, with a smile ; " a mouldy 
tradition of a credulous age. His brother Freder- 
ick lived here in the castle with him, and had a 
flirtation with Leonore von Luzelstein, a lady of 
the court, whom he afterwards despised, and was 
consequently most cordially hated by her. From 



A ROMANCE. 59 

political motives he was equally hateful to certain 
petty German tyrants, who, in order to ejfifect his 
ruin, accused him of heresy. But his brother 
Louis would not deliver him up to their fury, and 
they resolved to effect by stratagem, what they 
could not by intrigue. Accordingly, Leonore 
von Luzelstein, disguised as the Virgin Mary, 
and the father confessor of the Elector, in the cos- 
tume of Satan, made their appearance in the Elec- 
tor's bed-chamber at midnight, and frightened 
him so horribly, that he consented to deliver 
up his brother into the hands of two Black 
Knights, who pretended to be ambassadors from 
the Vehm-Gericht. They proceeded together to 
Frederick's chamber ; where luckily old Gemmin- 
gen, a brave soldier, kept guard behind the arras. 
The monk went foremost in his Satanic garb ; but, 
no sooner had he set foot in the prince's bed- 
chamber, than the brave Gemmingen drew his 
sword, and said quaintly, ^ Die, wretch ! ' and 
so he died. The rest took to their heels, and 
were heard of no more. And now the souls of 



60 HYPERION, 

Leonore and the monk haunt the scene of their 
midnight crime. You will find the story in Grain- 
berg's book, worked up with a kind of red-morocco 
and burnt-cork sublimity, and great melo-dramatic 
clanking of chains, and hooting of owls, and other 
fallow deer ! " 

" After breakfast," said Flemming, " we will go 
up to the castle. I must get acquainted with this 
mirror of owls, this modern Till Eulenspiegel. 
See what a glorious morning we have ! It is truly 
a wondrous winter ! what summer sunshine ; what 
soft Venetian fogs ! How the wanton, treacherous 
air coquets with the old gray-beard trees ! Such 
weather makes the grass and our beards grow 
apace ! But we have an old saying in English, 
that winter never rots in the sky. So he will come 
down at last in his old-fashioned, mealy coat. We 
shall have snow in spring ; and the blossoms will 
be all snow-flakes. And afterwards a summer, 
which will be no summer, but, as Jean Paul says, 
only a winter painted green. Is it not so ? " 

" Unless I am much deceived in the climate of 



A ROMANCE. 61 

Heidelberg," replied the Baron, " we shall not 
have to wait long for snow. We have sudden 
changes here, and I should not marvel much if it 
snowed before night." 

" The greater reason for making good use of the 
morning sunshine, then. Let us hasten to the 
castle, after which my heart yearns." 



62 HYPERION, 



CHAPTER VII. 



LIVES OF SCHOLARS. 



The forebodings of the Baron proved true. In 
the afternoon the weather changed. The western 
wind began to blow, and its breath drew a cloud- 
veil over the face of heaven, as a breath does over 
the human face in a mirror. Soon the snow began 
to fall. Athwart the distant landscape it swept 
like a white mist. The storm-wind came from the 
Alsatian hills, and struck the dense clouds aslant 
through the air. And ever faster fell the snow, a 
roaring torrent from those mountainous clouds. 
The setting sun glared wildly from the summit of 
the hills, and sank like a burning ship at sea, 
wrecked in the tempest. Thus the evening set 
in ; and winter stood at the gate wagging his white 
and shaggy beard, like an old harper, chanting an 
old rhyme : — " How cold it is ! how cold it is ! " 



A ROMANCE. 63 

" I like such a storm as this," said Flemming, 
who stood at the window, looking out into the tem- 
pest and the gathering darkness. " The silent fall- 
ing of snow is to me one of the most solemn things 
in nature. The fall of autumnal leaves does not 
so much affect me. But the driving storm is 
grand. It startles me ; it awakens me. It is wild 
and woful, like my own soul. I cannot help 
thinking of the sea ; how the waves run and toss 
their arms about, — and the wind plays on those 
great harps, made by the shrouds and masts of 
ships. Winter is here in earnest ! Whew ! How 
the old churl whistles and threshes the snow ! 
Sleet and rain are falling too. Already the trees 
are bearded with icicles ; and the two broad branch- 
es of yonder pine look like the white mustache of 
some old German Baron." 

" And to-morrow it will look more wintry still," 
said his friend. " We shall wake up and find that 
the frost- spirit has been at work all night build- 
ing Gothic Cathedrals on our windows, just as 
the devil built the Cathedral of Cologne. So 



64 HYPERION, 

draw the curtains, and come sit here by the warm 
fire." 

" And now/' said Flemming, having done as his 
friend desired, " tell me something of Heidelberg 
and its University. I suppose we shall lead about 
as solitary and studious a life here as we did of 
yore in little Gottingen, with nothing to amuse us, 
save our own day-dreams." 

" Pretty much so," replied the Baron ; " which 
cannot fail to please you, since you are in pursuit 
of tranquillity. As to the University, it is, as you 
know, one of the oldest in Germany. It was 
founded in the fourteenth century by the Count 
Palatine Ruprecht, and had in the first year more 
than five hundred students, all busily committing to 
memory, after the old scholastic wise, the rules of 
grammar versified by Alexander de Villa Dei, and 
the extracts made by Peter the Spaniard from 
Michel Psellus's Synopsis of Aristotle's Organon, 
and the Categories, with Porphory's Commenta- 
ries. Truly, I do not much wonder, that Er- 
egina Scotus should have been put to death by 



AROMANCE. 65 

his scholars with their penknives. They must 
have been pushed to the very verge of despair." 

" What a strange picture a University presents 
to the imagination. The lives of scholars in their 
cloistered stillness ; — literary men of retired hab- 
its, and Professors who study sixteen hours a day, 
and never see the world but on a Sunday. Nature 
has, no doubt, for some wise purpose, placed in 
their hearts this love of literary labor and seclu- 
sion. Otherwise, who would feed the undying 
lamp of thought? But for such men as these, a 
blast of wind through the chinks and crannies of 
this old world, or the flapping of a conqueror's 
banner, would blow it out forever. The light of 
the soul is easily extinguished. And whenever I 
reflect upon these things I become aware of the 
great importance, in a nation's history, of the indi- 
vidual fame of scholars and literary men. I fear, 
that it is far greater than the world is willing to 
acknowledge ; or, perhaps I should say, than the 
world has thought of acknowledging. Blot out 
from England's history the names of Chaucer, 



66 HYPERION, 

Shakspere, Spenser, and Milton only, and how 
much of her glory would you blot out with them ! 
Take from Italy such names as Dante, Petrarch, 
Boccaccio, Michel Angelo, and Raphael, and 
how much would still be wanting to the complete- 
ness of her glory ! How would the history of 
Spain look if the leaves were torn out, on which 
are written the names of Cervantes, Lope de Vega, 
and Calderon ! What would be the fame of Por- 
tugal, without her Camoens ; of France, without her 
Racine, and Rabelais, and Voltaire ; or Germany, 
without her Martin Luther, her Goethe, and Schil- 
ler ! — Nay, what were the nations of old, without 
their philosophers, poets, and historians ! Tell 
me, do not these men in all ages and in all places, 
emblazon with bright colors the armorial bearings 
of their country ? Yes, and far more than this ; 
for in all ages and all places they give humanity 
assurance of its greatness ; and say ; Call not this 
time or people wholly barbarous ; for thus much, 
even then and there, could the human mind 
achieve ! But the boisterous world has hardly 



A ROMANCE. 67 

thought of acknowledging all this. Therein it has 
shown itself somewhat ungrateful. Else, whence 
the great reproach, the general scorn, the loud de- 
rision, with which, to take a familiar example, 
the monks of the Middle Ages are regarded ! That 
they slept their lives away is most untrue. For in 
an age when books were feWf — so few, so precious, 
that they were often chained to their oaken shelves 
with iron chains, like galley-slaves to their benches, 
these men, with their laborious hands, copied upon 
parchment all the lore and wisdom of the past, 
and transmitted it to us. Perhaps it is not too 
much to say, that, but for these monks, not one line 
of the classics would have reached our day. Sure- 
ly, then, we can pardon something to those super- 
stitious ages, perhaps even the mysticism of the 
scholastic philosophy, since, after all, we can find 
no harm in it, only the mistaking of the possible 
for the real, and the high aspirings of the human 
mind after a long-sought and unknown somewhat. 
I think the name of Martin Luther, the monk of 
Wittemberg, alone sufficient to redeem all monk- 



68 HYPERION, 

hood from the reproach of laziness ! If this will 
not, perhaps the vast folios of Thomas Aquinas 
will ; — or the countless manuscripts, still treasured 
in old libraries, whose yellow and wrinkled pages 
remind one of the hands that wrote them, and the 
faces that once bent over them." 

" An eloquent homily," said the Baron laughing, 
"a most touching appeal in behalf of suffering 
humanity ! For my part, I am no friend of this 
entire seclusion from the world. It has a very in- 
jurious effect on the mind of a scholar. The Chi- 
nese proverb is true ; a single conversation across 
the table with a wise man, is better than ten years' 
mere study of books. I have known some of these 
literary men, who thus shut themselves up from 
the world. Their minds never come in contact 
with those of their fellow-men. They read little. 
They think much. They are mere dreamers. 
They know not what is new nor what is old. They 
often strike upon trains of thought, which stand 
written in good authors some century or so back, 
and are even current in the mouths of men around 



A ROMANCE. 69 

them. But they know it not; and imagine they 
are bringing forward something very original, when 
they pubhsh their thoughts." 

^^ It reminds me," rephed Flemming, " of what 
Dr. Johnson said of Goldsmith, when he proposed 
to travel abroad in order to bring home improve- 
ments;— ' He will bring home a wheelbarrow, and 
call that an improvement.' It is unfortunately the 
same with some of these scholars." 

" And the worst of it is," said the Baron, '^ that, 
in solitude, some fixed idea will • often take root 
in the mind, and grow till it overshadow all one's 
thoughts. To this must all opinions come ; no 
thought can enter there, which shall not be wed- 
ded to the fixed idea. There it remains, and 
grows. It is like the watchman's wife, in the 
tower of Waiblingen, who grew to such a size, 
that she could not get down the narrow stair-case ; 
and, when her husband died, his successor was 
forced to marry the fat widow in the tower." 

" I remember an old English comedy," said 
Flemming laughing, " in which a scholar is de- 



70 HYPERION, 

scribed, as a creature, that can strike fire in the 
morning at his tinder-box, — put on a pair of lined 
slippers, — sit ruminating till dinner, and then go to 
his meat when the bell rings ; — one that hath a 
peculiar gift in a cough, and a license to spit ; — 
or, if you will have him defined by negatives, he 
is one that cannot make a good leg ; — one that 
cannot eat a mess of broth cleanly. What think 
you of that ? " 

" That it is just as people are always represent- 
ed in English comedy," said the Baron. " The 
portrait is over-charged, — caricatured." 

" And yet," continued Flemming, "no longer 
ago than yesterday, in the Preface of a work by 
Dr. Rosenkranz, Professor of Philosophy in the 
University of Halle, I read this passage." 

He opened a book and read. 

" Here in Halle, where we have no public gar- 
den and no Tivoli, no London Exchange, no Paris 
Chamber of Deputies, no Berlin nor Vienna Thea- 
tres, no Strassburg Minster, nor Salzburg Alps, — 
no Grecian ruins nor fantastic Catholicism, in fine, 



A ROMANCE. 71 

nothing, which after one's daily task is finished, 
can divert and refresh him, without his knowing or 
caring how, — I consider the sight of a proof-sheet 
quite as dehghtful as a walk in the Prater of Vien- 
na. I fill my pipe very quietly, take out my ink- 
stand and pens, seat myself in the corner of my 
sofa, read, correct, and now for the first time 
really set about thinking what I have written. To 
see this origin of a book, this metamorphosis of 
manuscript into print, is a delight to which I give 
myself up entirely. Look you, this melancholy 
pleasure, which would have furnished the depart- 
ed Voss with worthy matter for more than one 
blessed Idyl — (the more so, as on such occasions, 
I am generally arrayed in a morning gown, though 
I am sorry to say, not a calamanco one, with great 
flowers ;) this melancholy pleasure has already 
grown here in Halle to a sweet, pedantic habit. 
Since I began my hermit's life here, I have been 
printing; and so long as I remain here, I shall 
keep on printing. In all probability, I shall die 
with a proof-sheet in my hand." 



72 HYPERION, 

" This," said Flemming, closing the book, " is 
no caricature by a writer of comedy, but a portrait 
by a man's own hand. We can see by it how 
easily, under certain circumstances, one may glide 
into habits of seclusion, and in a kind of undress, 
slipshod hardihood, with a pipe and a proof-sheet, 
defy the world. Into this state scholars have too 
often fallen ; thus giving some ground for the prev- 
alent opinion, that scholarship and rusticity are 
inseparable. To me, I confess, it is painful to see 
the scholar and the world assume so often a hos- 
tile attitude, and set each other at defiance. Sure- 
ly, it is a characteristic trait of a great and liberal 
mind, that it recognises humanity in all its forms 
and conditions. I am a student; — and always, 
when I sit alone at night, I recognise the divinity 
of the student, as she reveals herself to me in the 
smoke of the midnight lamp. But, because soli- 
tude and books are not unpleasant to me, — nay, 
wished-for, — sought after, — shall I say to my 
brother. Thou fool 1 Shall I take the world by the 
beard and say. Thou art old, and mad ! — Shall I 



A ROMANCE. 73 

look society in the face and say, Thou art heartless ! 

— Heartless ! Beware of that word ! Life, says 
very wisely the good Jean Paul, Life in every 
shape, should be precious to us, for the same rea- 
son that the Turks carefully collect every scrap of 
paper that comes in their way, because the name 
of God may be written upon it. Nothing is more 
true than this, yet nothing more neglected ! " 

" If it be painful to see this misunderstanding 
between scholars and the world," said the Baron, 
" I think it is still more painful to see the private 
sufferings of authors by profession. How many 
have languished in poverty, how many died bro- 
ken-hearted, how many gone mad with over- 
excitement and disappointed hopes ! How in- 
structive and painfully interesting are their lives ! 
with so many weaknesses, — so much to pardon, 

— so much to pity, — so much to admire ! 1 
think he was not so far out of the way, who said, 
that, next to the Newgate Calendar, the Biogra- 
phy of Authors is the most sickening chapter in 
the history of man." 

VOL. I. 4 



74 HYPERION, 

" It is indeed enough to make one's heart 
ache ! " interrupted Flemming. " Only think of 
Johnson and Savage, rambUng about the streets of 
London at midnight, without a place to sleep in ; 
Otway starved to death ; Cowley mad, and howl- 
ing like a dog, through the aisles of Chichester 
Cathedral, at the sound of church music ; and 
Goldsmith, strutting up Fleet Street in his peach- 
blossom coat, to knock a bookseller over the pate 
with one of his own volumes ; and then, in his 
poverty, about to marry his landlady in Green Ar- 
bour Court." 

" A life of sorrow and privation, a hard life, in- 
deed, do these poor devil authors have of it," 
replied the Baron ; " and then at last must get 
them to the work-house, or creep away into some 
hospital to die." 

" After all," said Flemming with a sigh, " pov- 
erty is not a vice." 

"But something worse," interrupted the Baron; 
" as Dufresny said, when he married his laun- 
dress, because he could not pay her bill. He 



A ROMANCE. 75 

was the author, as you know, of the opera of Lot ; 
at whose representation the great pun was made ; 
— I say the great pun, as we say the great ton of 
Heidelberg. As one of the performers was sing- 
ing the hne, ^ U amour a vaincu Loth,' (yingt 
culottes,) a voice from the pit cried out, ' Q^uHl en 
donne une a Vauteur / ' " 

Flemming laughed at the unseasonable jest; 
and then, after a short pause, continued ; 

" And yet, if you look closely at the causes of 
these calamities of authors, you will find, that ma- 
ny of them spring from false and exaggerated ideas 
of poetry and the poetic character ; and from dis- 
dain of common sense, upon which all charac- 
ter, worth having, is founded. This comes from 
keeping aloof from the world, apart from our fel- 
low-men ; disdainful of society, as frivolous. By 
too much sitting still the body becomes unhealthy ; 
and soon the mind. This is nature's law. She 
will never see her children wronged. If the mind, 
which rules the body, ever forgets itself so far as 
to trample upon its slave, the slave is never gener- 



76 HYPERION, 

ous enough to forgive the injury ; but will rise and 
smite its oppressor. Thus has many a monarch 
mind been dethroned." 

" After all," said the Baron, " we must pardon 
much to men of genius. A delicate organization 
renders them keenly susceptible to pain and pleas- 
ure. And then they idealize every thing ; and, in 
the moonlight of fancy, even the deformity of vice 
seems beautiful." 

" And this you think should be forgiven ? " 

" At all events it is forgiven. The world loves 
a spice of wickedness. Talk as you will about 
principle, impulse is more attractive, even when 
it goes too far. The passions of youth, like un- 
heeded hawks, fly high, with musical bells upon 
their jesses ; and we forget the cruelty of the sport 
in the dauntless bearing of the gallant bird." 

" And thus doth the world and society corrupt 
the scholar ! " exclaimed Flemming. 

Here the Baron rang, and ordered a bottle of 
Prince Metternich. He then very slowly filled 
his pipe, and began to smoke. Flemming was lost 
in a day-dream. 



A ROMANCE. 77 



CHAPTER VIII. 



LITERAUr FAME. 



Time has a Doomsday-Bookj upon whose pages 
he is continually recording illustrious names. But, 
as often as a new name is written there, an old one 
disappears. Only a few stand in illuminated char- 
acters, never to be effaced. These are the high 
nobility of Nature, — Lords of the Pubhc Domain 
of Thought. Posterity shall never question their 
titles. But those, whose fame lives only in the in- 
discreet opinion of unwise men, must soon be as 
well forgotten, as if they had never been. To 
this great oblivion must most men come. It is 
better, therefore, that they should soon make up 
their minds to this ; well knowing, that, as their 
bodies must ere long be resolved into dust again, 
and their graves tell no tales of them ; so must 



78 HYPERION, 

their names likewise be utterly forgotten, and their 
most cherished thoughts, purposes, and opinions 
have no longer an individual being among men; 
but be resolved and incorporated into the universe 
of thought. If, then, the imagination can trace 
the noble dust of heroes, till we find it stopping a 
beer-barrel, and know that 

" Imperial Caesar, dead and turned to clay, 
May stop a hole to keep the wind away ; '' 

not less can it trace the noble thoughts of great 
men, till it finds them mouldered into the common 
dust of conversation, and used to stop men's 
mouths, and patch up theories, to keep out the 
flaws of opinion. Such, for example, are all pop- 
ular adages and wise proverbs, which are now re- 
solved into the common mass of thought ; their 
authors forgotten, and having no more an individ- 
ual being among men. 

It is better, therefore, that men should soon 
make up their minds to be forgotten, and look 
about them, or within them, for some higher mo- 
tive, in what they do, than the approbation of men. 



A ROMANCE. 79 

which is Fame ; namely, their duty ; that they 
should be constantly and quietly at work, each in 
his sphere, regardless of effects, and leaving their 
fame to take care of itself. Difficult must this in- 
deed be, in our imperfection ; impossible perhaps 
to achieve it wholly. Yet the resolute, the in- 
domitable will of man can achieve much, — at 
times even this victory over himself; being per- 
suaded, that fame comes only when deserved, and 
then is as inevitable as destiny, for it is destiny. 

It has become a common saying, that men of 
genius are always in advance of their age ; which 
is true. There is something equally true, yet not 
so common ; namely, that, of these men of genius, 
the best and bravest are in advance not only of 
their own age, but of every age. As the German 
prose-poet says, every possible future is behind 
them. We cannot suppose, that a period of time 
will ever come, when the world, or any consider- 
able portion of it shall have come up abreast with 
these great minds, so as fully to comprehend them. 

And oh ! how majestically they walk in histo- 



80 HYPERION, 

ry ; some like the sun, with all his travelling glo- 
ries round him ; others wrapped in gloom, yet 
glorious as a night with stars. Through the else 
silent darkness of the past, the spirit hears their 
slow and solemn footsteps. Onward they pass, 
like those hoary elders seen in the sublime vision 
of an earthly Paradise, attendant angels bearing 
golden hghts before them, and, above and behind, 
the whole air painted with seven listed colors, as 
from the trail of pencils ! 

And yet, on earth, these men were not hap- 
py, — not all happy, in the outward circumstance 
of their lives. They were in want, and in pain, 
and familiar with prison-bars, and the damp, weep- 
ing walls of dungeons ! Oh, I have looked with 
wonder upon those, who, in sorrow and privation, 
and bodily discomfort, and sickness, which is the 
shadow of death, have worked right on to the 
accomplishment of their great purposes ; toiling 
much, enduring much, fulfilling much ; — and then, 
with shattered nerves, and sinews all unstrung, 
have laid themselves down in the grave, and slept 



A ROMANCE. 81 

the sleep of death, — and the world talks of them, 
while they sleep ! 

It would seem, indeed, as if all their sufferings 
had but sanctified them ! As if the death-angel, 
in passing, had touched them with the hem of his 
garment, and made them holy ! As if the hand of 
disease had been stretched out over them only to 
make the sign of the cross upon their souls ! And 
as in the sun's eclipse we can behold the great 
stars shining in the heavens, so in this life eclipse 
have these men beheld the lights of the great eter- 
nity, burning solemnly and forever ! 

This was Flemming's reverie. It was broken 
by the voice of the Baron, suddenly exclaiming ; 

" An angel is flying over the house ! — Here ; 
in this goblet, fragrant as the honey of Hymettus, 
fragrant as the wild flowers in the Angel's Mead- 
ow, I dritik to the divinity of thy dreams." 

" This is all sunshine," said Flemming, as he 
drank. "The wine of the Prince, and the Prince 
of wines. By the way, did you ever read that 

brilliant Italian dithyrambic, Redi's Bacchus in 

4* 



82 HYPERION, 

Tuscany ? an ode which seems to have been 
poured out of the author's soul, as from a golden 
pitcher, 

* Filled with the wine 
Of the vine 
Benign, 
That flames so red in Sansavine.' 

He calls the Montepulciano the king of all wines." 
" Prince Metternich," said the Baron, " is great- 
er than any king in Italy ; and I wonder, that this 
precious wine has never inspired a German poet 
to write a Bacchus on the Rhine. Many little 
songs we have on this theme, but none very ex- 
traordinary. The best are Max Schenkendorf's 
Song of the Rhine, and the Song of Rhine 
Wine, by Claudius, a poet who never drank 
Rhenish without sugar. We will drink for him a 
blessing on the Rhine." 

And again the crystal lips of the goblets kissed 
each other, with a musical chime, as of evening 
bells at vintage-time from the villages on the Rhine. 
Of a truth, I do not much wonder, that the Ger- 



A ROMANCE. 83 

man poet Schiller loved to write by candle-light 
with a bottle of Rhine-wine upon the table. Nor 
do I wonder at the worthy schoolmaster Roger 
Ascham, when he says, in one of his letters from 
Germany to Mr. John Raven, of John's College ; 
' Tell Mr. Maden I will drink with him now a ca- 
rouse of wine ; and would to God he had a vessel 
of Rhenish wine ; and perchance, when I come to 
Cambridge, I will so provide here, that every year 
I will have a little piece of Rhenish wine.' Nor, 
in fine, do I wonder at the German Emperor of 
whom he speaks in another letter to the same 
John Raven, and says, ' The Emperor drank 
the best that I ever saw ; he had his head in the 
glass five times as long as any of us, and never 
drank less than a good quart at once of Rhenish 
wine.' These were scholars and gentlemen. 

" But to resume our old theme of scholars and 
their whereabout," said the Baron, with an unusu- 
al glow, caught no doubt from the golden sunshine, 
imprisoned, like the student Anselmus, in the glass 
bottle ; "where should the scholar live ? In soli- 



84 HYPERION, 

tude or in society ? In the green stillness of the 
country, where he can hear the heart of nature 
beat, or in the dark, gray city, where he can hear 
and feel the throbbing heart of man ? I will make 
answer for him, and say, in the dark, gray city. 
Oh, they do greatly err, who think, that the stars 
are all the poetry which cities have ; and there- 
fore that the poet's only dwelling should be in 
sylvan solitudes, under the green roof of trees. 
Beautiful, no doubt, are all the forms of Nature, 
when transfigured by the miraculous power of po- 
etry ; hamlets and harvest-fields, and nut-brown 
waters, flowing ever under the forest, vast and shad- 
owy, with all the sights and sounds of rural life. 
But after all, what are these but the decorations 
and painted scenery in the great theatre of hu- 
man life ? What are they but the coarse materials 
of the poet's song ? Glorious indeed is the world 
of God around us, but more glorious the world of 
God within us. There lies the Land of Song ; 
there lies the poet's native land. The river of 
life, that flows through streets tumultuous, bearing 



A ROMANCE. 85 

along so many gallant hearts, so many wrecks of 
humanity ; — the many homes and households, 
each a little world in itself, revolving round its 
fireside, as a central sun ; all forms of human joy 
and suffering, brought into that narrow compass ; 
— and to be in this and be a part of this ; acting, 
thinking, rejoicing, sorrowing, with his fellow-men; 
- — such, such should be the poet's life. If he 
would describe the world, he should live in the 
world. The mind of the scholar, also, if you 
would have it large and liberal, should come in 
contact with other minds. It is better that his ar- 
mour should be somewhat bruised even by rude 
encounters, than hang forever rusting on the wall. 
Nor will his themes be few or trivial, because 
apparently shut in between the walls of houses, and 
having merely the decorations of street scenery. 
A ruined character is as picturesque as a ruined 
castle. There are dark abysses and yawning gulfs 
in the human heart, which can be rendered passa- 
ble only by bridging them over with iron- nerves 
and sinews, as Challey bridged the Savine in Swit- 



86 HYPERION, 

zerland, and Telford the sea between Anglesea 
and England, with chain bridges. These are the 
great themes of human thought ; not green grass, 
and flowers, and moonshine. Besides, the mere 
external forms of Nature we make our own, and 
carry with us into the city, by the power of 
memory." 

"I fear, however," interrupted Flemming, "that 
in cities the soul of man grows proud. He needs 
at times to be sent forth, like the Assyrian mon- 
arch, into green fields, ' a wonderous wretch and 
weedless,' to eat green herbs, and be wakened 
and chastised by the rain-shower and winter's 
bitter weather. Moreover, in cities there is dan- 
ger of the soul's becoming wed to pleasure, and 
forgetful of its high vocation. There have been 
souls dedicated to heaven from childhood and 
guarded by good angels as sweet seclusions for 
holy thoughts, and prayers, and all good purposes ; 
wherein pious wishes dwelt like nuns, and every 
image w^as a saint ; and yet in life's vicissitudes, 
by the treachery of occasion, by the thronging pas- 



A ROMANCE. 87 

sions of great cities, have become soiled and sinful. 
They resemble those convents on the river Rhine, 
which have been changed to taverns ; from whose 
chambers the pious inmates have long departed, 
and in whose cloisters the footsteps of travellers 
have effaced the images of buried saints, and 
whose walls are written over with ribaldry and the 
names of strangers, and resound no more with holy 
hymns, but with revelry and loud voices." 

" Both town and country have their dangers," 
said the Baron ; '^ and therefore, wherever the 
scholar lives, he must never forget his high voca- 
tion. Other artists give themselves up wholly to 
the study of their art. It becomes with them al- 
most religion. For the most part, and in their 
youth, at least, they dwell in lands, where the 
whole atmosphere of the soul is beauty ; laden 
with it as the air may be with vapor, till their very 
nature is saturated with the genius of their art. 
Such, for example, is the artist's life in Italy." 

" I agree with you," exclaimed Flemming; 
" and such should be the Poet's everywhere ; for 



88 HYPERION, 

he has his Rome, his Florence, his whole glowing 
Italy within the four walls of his library. He has 
ija his books the ruins of an antique world, — and 
the glories of a modern one, — his Apollo and 
Transfiguration. He must neither forget nor un- 
dervalue his vocation ; but thank God that he is a 
poet ; and everywhere be true to himself, and to 
' the vision and the faculty divine ' he feels within 
him." 

" But, at any rate, a city life is most eventful," 
continued the Baron. " The men who make, or 
take, the lives of poets and scholars, always 
complain that these lives are barren of incidents. 
Hardly a literary biography begins without some 
such apology, unwisely made. I confess, however, 
that it is not made without some show of truth ; if, 
by incidents, we mean only those startling events, 
which suddenly turn aside the stream of Time, 
and change the world's history in an hour. There 
is certainly a uniformity, pleasing or unpleasing, 
in literary life, which for the most part makes 
to-day seem twin-born with yesterday. But if, by 



A ROMANCE. 89 

incidents, you mean events in the history of the 
human mind, (and why not ?) noiseless events, that 
do not scar the forehead of the world as battles 
do, yet change it not the less, then surely the 
lives of literary men are most eventful. The 
complaint and the apology are both foolish. I do 
not see why a successful book is not as great an 
event as a successful campaign ; only different in 
kind, and not easily compared." 

" Indeed," interrupted Flemming, " in no sense 
is the complaint strictly true, though at times ap- 
parently so. Events enough there are, were they 
all set down. A life, that is worth writing at all, 
is worth writing minutely. Besides, all literary 
men have not lived in silence and solitude; — not 
all in stillness, not all in shadow. For many 
have lived in troubled times, in the rude and ad- 
verse fortunes of the state and age, and could say 
with Wallenstein, 

' Our life was but a battle and a march; 
And, like the wind's blast, never-resting, homeless, 
We stormed across the war convulsed earth.' 



90 HYPERION, 

Of such examples history has recorded many ; 
Dante, Cervantes, Byron, and others ; men of 
iron ; men who have dared to breast the strong 
breath of pubhc opinion, and, hke spectre-ships, 
come saihng right against the wind. Others have 
been puffed out by the first adverse wind that 
blew ; disgraced and sorrowful, because they could 
not please others. Truly ' the tears live in an 
onion, that should water such a sorrow.' Had 
they been men, they would have made these dis- 
appointments their best friends, and learned from 
them the needful lesson of self-reliance." 

" To confess the truth," added the Baron, " the 
lives of literary men, with their hopes and dis- 
appointments, and quarrels and calamities, present 
a melancholy picture of man's strength and weak- 
ness. On that very account the scholar can make 
them profitable for encouragement, — consolation, 
— warning." 

" And after all," continued Flemming, " per- 
haps the greatest lesson, which the lives of literary 
men teach us, is told in a single word ; Wait ! — 



A ROMANCE. 91 

Every man must patiently bide his time. He must 
wait. More particularly in lands, like my native 
land, vi^here the pulse of life beats with such fe- 
verish and impatient throbs, is the lesson needful. 
Our national character wants the dignity of repose. 
We seem to live in the midst of a battle, — there 
is such a din, — such a hurrying to and fro. In 
the streets of a crowded city it is difficult to walk 
slowly. You feel the rushing of the crowd, and 
rush with it onward. In the press of our hfe it is 
difficult to be calm. In this stress of wind and 
tide, all professions seem to drag their anchors, 
and are swept out into the main. The voices of 
the Present say, Come ! But the voices of the 
Past say, Wait ! With calm and solemn footsteps 
the rising tide bears against the rushing torrent up 
stream, and pushes back the hurrying waters. 
With no less calm and solemn footsteps, nor less 
certainly, does a great mind bear up against public 
opinion, and push back its hurrying stream. 
Therefore should every man wait ; — should bide 
his time. Not in listless idleness, — not in useless 



92 HYPERION, 

pastime, — not in querulous dejection ; but in con^- 
stant, steady, cheerful endeavours, always willing 
and fulfilling, and accomplishing his task, that, 
when the occasion comes, he may be equal to 
the occasion. And if it never comes, what mat- 
ters it ? What matters it to the world whether I, 
or you, or another man did such a deed, or wrote 
such a book, sobeit the deed and book were well 
done ! It is the part of an indiscreet and trouble- 
some ambition, to care too much about fame, — 
about what the world says of us. To be always 
looking into the faces of others for approval ; — 
to be always anxious for the effect of what we do 
and say ; to be always shouting to hear the echo 
of our own voices ! If you look about you, 
you will see men, who are wearing life away in 
feverish anxiety of fame, and the last we shall 
ever hear of them will be the funeral bell, that tolls 
them to their early graves ! Unhappy men, and 
unsuccessful ! because their purpose is, not to ac- 
complish well their task, but to clutch the 'trick 
and fantasy of fame ' ; and they go to their graves 



A ROMANCE. 93 

with purposes unaccomplished and wishes unful- 
filled. Better for them, and for the world in 
their example, had they known how to wait ! 
Believe me, the talent of success is nothing 
more than doing what you can do well ; and do- 
ing well whatever you do, — without a thought 
of fame. If it come at all, it will come because it 
is deserved, not because it is sought after. And, 
moreover, there will be no misgivings, — no disap- 
pointment, — no hasty, feverish, exhausting ex- 
citement." 



Thus endeth the First Book of Hyperion. I 
make no record of the winter. Paul Flemming 
buried himself in books ; in old, dusty books. He 
studied diligently the ancient poetic lore of Ger- 
many, from Prankish Legends of Saint George, 
and Saxon Rhyme-Chronicles, down through Ni- 
belungen Lieds, and Helden-Buchs, and Songs of 
the Minnesingers and Mastersingers, and Ships 
of Fools, and Reinecke Foxes, and Death-Dances 



94 HYPERION, A ROMANCE. 

and Lamentations of Damned Souls, into the 
bright, sunny land of ' harvests, where, amid the 
golden grain and the blue corn-flowers, walk the 
modern bards, and sing. 



BOOK THE SECOND 



" Something the heart must have to cherish, 
Musi love, and joy, and sorrow learn 5 
Something with passion clasp, or perish. 
And in itself to ashes bum." 



BOOK THE SECOND. 



CHAPTER I. 

SPRING. 

It was a sweet carol, which the Rhodian chil- 
dren sang of old in Spring, bearing in their hands, 
from door to door, a swallow, as herald of the 
season ; 

" The Swallow is come ! 
The Swallow is come ! 
O fair are the seasons, and light 
Are the days that she brings, 
With her dusky wings, 
And her bosom snowy white." 

A pretty carol, too, is that, which the Hunga- 
rian boys, on the islands of the Danube, sing to the 
returning stork in Spring ; 

"Stork! Stork! poor Stork ! 
Why is thy foot so bloody ? 
A Turkish boy hath torn it ; 
VOL. I. 5 



98 HYPERION, 

Hungarian boy will heal it, 
With fiddle, fife, and drum." 

Bat what child has a heart to sing in this capri- 
cious clime of ours, where Spring comes sailing in 
from the sea, with wet and heavy cloud-sails, and 
the misty pennon of the East-wind nailed to the 
mast ! Yet even here, and in the stormy month 
of March even, there are bright, warm mornings, 
when we open our windows to inhale the balmy 
air. The pigeons fly to and fro, and we hear the 
whirring sound of wings. Old flies crawl out of 
the cracks, to sun themselves ; and think it is sum- 
mer. They die in their conceit ; and so do our 
hearts within us, when the cold sea-breath comes 
from the eastern sea; and again, 

" The driving hail 
Upon the window beats with icy flail," 

The red-flowering maple is first in blossom, its 
beautiful purple flowers unfolding a fortnight be- 
fore the leaves. The moose-wood follows, with 
rose-colored buds and leaves ; and the dog-wood, 
robed in the white of its own pure blossoms. Then 



A ROMANCE. 99 

comes the sudden rain-storm ; and the birds fly to 
and fro, and shriek. Where do they hide them- 
selves in such storms ? at what firesides dry their 
feathery cloaks? At the fireside of the great, 
hospitable sun, to-morrow, not before ; — they 
must sit in wet garments until then. 

In all climates Spring is beautiful. In the South 
it is intoxicating, and sets a poet beside himself. 
The birds begin to sing ; — they utter a few raptur- 
ous notes, and then wait for an answer in the silent 
woods. Those green-coated musicians, the frogs, 
make holiday in the neighbouring marshes. They, 
too, belong to the orchestra of Nature ; whose vast 
theatre is again opened, though the doors have been 
so long bolted with icicles, and the scenery hung 
with snow and frost, like cobwebs. This is the 
prelude, which announces the rising of the broad 
green curtain. Already the grass shoots forth. 
The waters leap with thrilling pulse through the 
veins of the earth ; the sap through the veins of the 
plants and trees ; and the blood through the veins 
of man. What a thrill of delight in spring-time ! 



100 HYPERION, 

What a joy in being and moving I Men are at 
work in gardens ; and in the air there is an- odor of 
the fresh earth. The leaf-buds begin to swell 
and blush. The white blossoms of the cherry 
hang upon the boughs like snow-flakes ; and 
ere long our next-door neighbours will be com- 
pletely hidden from us by the dense green foliage. 
The May-flowers open their soft blue eyes. Chil- 
dren are let loose in the fields and gardens. They 
hold butter-cups under each others' chins, to see 
if they love butter. And the Httle girls adorn 
themselves with chains and curls of dandelions; 
pull out the yellow leaves to see if the schoolboy 
loves them, and blow the down from the leafless 
stalk, to find out if their mothers want them at 
home. 

And at night so cloudless and so still 1 Not a 
voice of living thing, — not a whisper of leaf or 
waving bough, — not a breath of wind, — not a 
sound upon the earth nor in the air ! And over- 
head bends the blue sky, dewy and soft, and radi- 
ant with innumerable stars, like the inverted bell 
■3 



A ROMANCE. 101 

of some blue flower, sprinkled with golden dust, 
and breathinoj frao;rance. Or if the heavens are 
overcast, it is no wild storm of wind and rain ; but 
clouds that melt and fall in showers. One does 
not wish to sleep ; but lies awake to hear the 
pleasant sound of the dropping rain. 

It was thus the Spring began in Heidelberg. 



102 HYPERION, 



CHAPTER II. 



A COLLOQ.UY. 



" And what think you of Tiedge's Urania," said 
the Baron smiUng, as Paul Flernming closed the 
book, and laid it upon the table. 

" I think," said Flernming, " that it is very 
much hke Jean Paul's grandfather, — in the high- 
est degree poor and pious." 

" Bravo I " exclaimed the Baron. " That is 
the best criticism I have heard upon the book. 
For my part, I dislike the thing as much as Goethe 
did. It was once very popular, and lay about in 
every parlour and bed-room. This annoyed the 
old gentleman exceedingly ; and I do not wonder 
at it. He complains, that at one time nothing was 
sung or said but this Urania. He believed in 
Immortality ; but wished to cherish his belief in 



A ROMANCE. 103 

quietness. He once told a friend of his, that he 
had, however, learned one thing from all this talk 
about Tiedge and his Urania ; which was, that the 
saints, as well as the nobility, constitute an aristoc- 
racy. He said he found stupid women, who were 
proud because they believed in Immortality with 
Tiedge, and had to submit himself to not a few 
mysterious catechizings and tea-table lectures on 
this point; and that he cut them short by saying, 
that he had no objection whatever to enter into 
another state of existence hereafter, but prayed 
only that he might be spared the honor of meeting 
any of those there, who had believed in it here ; 
for, if he did, the saints would flock around him 
on all sides, exclaiming, Were we not in the 
right ? Did we not tell you so ? Has it not all 
turned out just as we said ? And, with such a 
conceited clatter in his ears, he thought that, before 
the end of six months, he might die of ennui in 
Heaven itself." 

" How shocked the good old ladies must have 
been," said Flemming. 



104 HYPERION, 

" No doubt, their nerves suffered a little ; but 
the young ladies loved him all the better for being- 
witty and wicked ; and thought if they could only 
marry him, how they would reform him." 

^^ Bettina Brentano, for instance." 

" O no ! That happened long afterwards. 
Goethe was then a silver-haired old man of sixty. 
She had never seen him, and knew him only by 
his writings ; a romantic girl of seventeen." 

" And yet much in love with the Sexagenarian. 
And surely a more wild, fantastic, and, excuse me, 
German passion never sprang up in woman's 
breast. She was a flower, that worshipped the 
sun." 

" She afterwards married Achim von Arnim, 
and is now a widow. And not the least singular 
part of the affair, is, that, having grown older, and 
I hope colder, she should herself publish the let- 
ters which passed between her and Goethe." 

" Particularly the letter in which she describes 
her first visit to Weimar, and her interview with 
the hitherto invisible divinity of her dreams. The 



A ROMANCE. 105 

old gentleman took her upon his knees, and she 
fell asleep with her head upon his shoulder. It 
reminds me of Titania and Nick Bottom, begging 
your pardon, always, for comparing your All- 
sided-One to Nick Bottom. Oberon must have 
touched her eyes with the juice of Love-in-idle- 
ness. However, this book of Goethe's Corre- 
spondence with a Child is a very singular and val- 
uable revelation of the feelings, which he excited 
in female hearts. You say she afterwards mar- 
ried Achim von Arnim ? " 

" Yes ; and he and her brother, Clemens Bren- 
tano, published that wondrous book, the Boy's 
Wonder-Horn." 

" The Boy's Wonder-Horn ! " said Flemming, 

after a short pause, for the name seemed to have 

thrown him into a reverie ; — ^'I know the book 

almost by heart. Of all your German books it is 

the one which produces upon my imagination the 

most wild and magic influence. I have a passion 

for ballads ! " 

" And who has not ? " said the Baron with a 
5* 



106 HYPERION, 

smile. " They are the gypsy-children of song, 
born under green hedgerows, in the leafy lanes 
and by-paths of literature, — in the genial sum- 
mer-time." 

" Why do you say summer-time and not sum- 
mer ? " inquired Flemming. " The expression re- 
minds me of your old Minnesingers ; — of Hein- 
rich von Ofterdingen, and Walter von der Vogel- 
weide, and Count Kraft von Toggenburg, and 
your own ancestor, I dare say, Burkhart von 
Hohenfels. They were always singing of the 
gentle summer-time. They seem to have lived 
poetry, as well as sung it ; like the birds who 
make their marriage beds in the voluptuous trees." 

" Is that from Shakspere ? " 

" No ; from Lope de Vega." 

" You are deeply read in the lore of antiquity, 
and the Aubades and Watch-Songs of the old 
Minnesingers. What do you think of the shoe- 
maker poets that came after them, — with their 
guilds and singing-schools? It makes me laugh 
to think how the great German Helicon, shrunk to 



A ROMANCE. 107 

a rivulet, goes bubbling and gurgling over the peb- 
bly names of Zwinger, Wurgendrussel, Buchenlin, 
Hellfire, Old Stoll, Young Stoll, Strong Bopp, 
Dang Brotscheimj Batt Spiegel, Peter Pfort, and 
Martin Gumpel. And then the Corporation of 
the Twelve Wise Masters, with their stumpfe- 
reime and klingende-reime, and their Hans Tin- 
deisen's rosemary-weise ; and Joseph Schmierer's 
flowery-paradise-weise, and Frauenlob's yellow- 
weise, and blue-w^eise, and frog-v^^eise, and looking- 
glass-weise 1 " 

" O, I entreat you," exclaimed Flemming, 
laughing, " do not call those men poets ! You 
transport me to quaint old Nuremberg, and I see 
Hans Sachs making shoes, and Hans Folz shav- 
ing the burgomaster." 

" By the way," interrupted the Baron, " did 
you ever read Hoffmann's beautiful story of Mas- 
ter Martin, the Cooper of Nuremberg? I will 
read it to you this very night. It is the most 
delightful picture of that age, which you can con- 
ceive. But look ! the sun has already set behind 



108 HYPERION, 

the Alsatian hills. Let us go up to the castle 
and look for the ghost in Prince Ruprecht's tower. 
O, what a glorious sunset ! " 

Flemming looked at the evening sky, and a 
shade of sadness stole over his countenance. He 
told not to his friend the sorrow, with which his 
heart was heavy ; but kept it for himself alone. 
He knew that the time, which comes to all 
men, — the time to suffer and be silent, — had 
come to him likewise ; and he spake no word. 
O well has it been said, that there is no grief like 
the grief which does not speak. 



A ROMANCE. 109 



CHAPTER III. 



OWL-TOWERS. 



" There sits the old Frau Himmelhahn, perch- 
ed up in her owl-tower," said the Baron to Flera- 
mingj as they passed along the Hauptstrasse. 
" She looks down through her round-eyed spec- 
tacles from her nest up there, and watches every 
one that goes by. I wonder what mischief she is 
hatching now ? Do you know she has nearly 
ruined your character in town ? She says you have 
a rakish look, because you carry a cane, and your 
hair curls. Your gloves, also, are a shade too 
light for a strictly virtuous man." 

" It is very kind in her to take such good care 
of my character, particularly as I am a stranger in 
town. She is doubtless learned in the Clothes- 
Philosophy." 



110 HYPERION, 

" And ignorant of every thing else. She asked 
a friend of mine the other day, whether Christ 
was a CathoUc or a Protestant." 

" That is really too absurd 1 " 

" Not too absurd to be true. And, ignorant as 
she is, she contrives to do a good deal of mischief 
in the course of the year. Why, the ladies already 
call you Wilhelm Meister." 

" They are at liberty to call me what they 
please. But you, who know me better, know that 
I am something more than they would imply by 
the name." 

" She says, moreover, that the American ladies 
sit with their feet out of the window, and have no 
pocket-handkerchiefs." 

" Excellent ! " 

They crossed the market-place and went up 
beneath the grand terrace into the court-yard of 
the castle. 

" Let us go up and sit under the great linden- 
trees, that grow on the summit of the Rent Tow- 
er," said Flemming. " From that point as from a 



A ROMANCE. Ill 

watch-tower v/e can look down into the garden, 
and see the crowd below us." 

*' And amuse ourselves, as old Frau Himmel- 
hahn does, at her window in the Hauptstrasse," 
added the Baron. 

The keeper's daughter unlocked for them the 
door of the tower, and, climbing the steep stair- 
case, they seated themselves on a wooden bench 
under the linden-trees. 

" How beautifully these trees overgrow the old 
tower ! And see what a solid mass of masonry 
lies in the great fosse down there, toppled from its 
base by the explosion of a mine ! It is like a 
rusty helmet cleft in twain, but still crested with 
towering plumes ! " 

" And what a motley crowd in the garden ! 
Philisters and Sons of the Muses ! And there 
goes the venerable Thibaut, taking his evening 
stroll. Do you see him there, with his silver 
hair flowing over his shoulders, and that friendly 
face, which has for so many years pored over the 
Pandects. I assure you, he inspires me with awe. 



112 HYPERION, 

And yet he is a merry old man, and loves his 
joke, particularly at the expense of Moses and 
other ancient lawgivers." 

Here their attention was diverted by a wild- 
looking person, who passed with long strides un- 
der the archway in the fosse, right beneath them, 
and disappeared among the bushes. He was 
ill-dressed, — his hair flying in the wind, — his 
movements hurried and nervous, and the expres- 
sion of his broad countenance wild, strange, and 
earnest. 

" Who can that be ! " asked Flemming. " He 
strides away indignantly, like one of *Ossian's 
ghosts ? " 

" A great philosopher, whose name I have for- 
gotten. Truly a strange owl ! " 

" He looks like a lion with a hat on." 

" He is a mystic, who reads Schubert's History 
of the Soul, and lives, for the most part, in the 
clouds of the Middle Ages. To him the spirit- 
world is still open. He beheves in the transmi- 
gration of souls; and I dare say is now follow- 



A ROMANCE. 113 

ing the spirit of some departed friend, who has 
taken the form of yonder pigeon." 

" What a strange halkicination ! He Hves, I 
suppose, in the land of cloud-shadows. And, as 
St. Thomas Aquinas was said to be lifted up from 
the ground by the fervor of his prayers, so, no 
doubt, is he by the fervor of his visions." 

" He certainly appears to neglect all sublunary 
things ; and, to judge from certain appearances, 
since you seem fond of holy similitudes, one would 
say, that, like St. Serapion the Sindonite, he had 
but one shirt. Yet what cares he ? he lives in 
that poetic dream-land of his thoughts, and clothes 
his dream-children in poetry." 

" He is a poet, then, as well as a philosopher?" 

•' Yes ; but a poet who never writes a line . 
There is nothing in nature to which his imagina- 
tion does not give a poetic hue. But th£ power 
to make others see these objects in the same 
poetic light, is wanting. Still he is a man of fine 
powers and feelings ; for, next to being a great 



114 HYPERION, 

poet, is the power of understanding one, — of 
finding one's-self in him, as we Germans say." 

Three figures, dressed in black, now came from 
one of the green alleys, and stopped on the brink 
of a little fountain, that was playing among the gay 
flowers in the garden. The eldest of the three 
was a lady in that season of life, when the early 
autumn gives to the summer leaves a warmer 
glow, yet fades them not. Though the mother of 
many children, she was still beautiful ; — resem- 
bling those trees, which blossom in October, when 
the leaves are changing, and whose fruit and blos- 
som are on the branch at once. At her side was 
a girl of some sixteen years, who seemed to lean 
upon her arm for support. Her figure was slight; 
her countenance beautiful, though deadly white ; 
and her meek eyes like the flower of the night- 
shade, pale and blue, but sending forth golden 
rays. They were attended by a tall youth of 
foreign aspect, who seemed a young Antinous, 
with a mustache and a nose a la KosciusJco, In 
other respects a perfect hero of romance. 



A ROMANCE. 115 

" Unless mine eyes deceive mej« said the Bar- 
on, " there is the Fraii von IlmenaUj with her 
pale daughter Emma, and that eternal Polish 
Count. He is always hovering about them, play- 
ing the unhappy exile, merely to excite that poor 
girl's sympathies ; and as wretched as genius and 
wantonness can make him." 

" Why, he is already married, you know," re- 
plied Flemming. " And his wife is young and 
beautiful." 

"That does not prevent him from being in love 
with some one else. That question was decided 
in the Courts of Love in the Middle Ages. Ac- 
cordingly he has sent his fair wife to Warsaw. 
But how pale the poor child looks." 

" She has just recovered from severe illness. 
In the winter, you know, it was thought she would 
not live from hour to hour." 

" And she has hardly recovered from that dis- 
ease, before she seems threatened with a worse 
one ; namely, a hopeless passion. However, peo- 
ple do not die of love now-a-days." 



ilG iivi'KKrox, 

" Seldom, jferhaps/' said Flemming. " And 
yet it h folly to pretend that one ever wholly re- 
covers from a disappointed passion. Such wounds 
always leave a scar. There are faces I can never 
look upon without emotion. There are names I 
can never hear spoken witliout almost starting ! " 

"But whom have we here?'' 

" That is the IVench poet Quinet, with his 
sweet German wife ; one of the most interesting 
women I ever knew. He is the author of a very 
wild Mystery, or dramatic prose-poem, in which 
the Ocean, Mont-J5lanc, and the Cathedral of 
Strasshurg have parts to play; and the saints on 
the stained windows of the minster speak, and 
the statues and dead kings enact the Dance of 
Death. It is entitled Ahasuerus, or the Wander- 
ing Jew." 

" Or, as the Danes would translate it, the Shoe- 
maker of Jerusalem. Tljat would he a still more 
fantastic title f{;r his fantastic hook. You know I 
am no great admirer of the modern French school 
of writers. The tales of Paul de Kock, who is, 



A ROM anim:. 1 17 

I believe, tlie most popular of all, seem to me like 
obscene stories told at dinner-tables, after the la- 
dies liavc retired. It lias bc(jti well said of him, 
that he is not only populairc hut pojjufac'kr ; and 
equally vvoll said of George Sand and Victor Jlu- 
rfo, that their works stand like fortifications, well 
built and well supplied with warlike munitions ; but 
inefFectual against tlu3 Grand Army of God, 
which marches onward, as if nothing had ha|)pen- 
ed. In surveying a national literature, tlui j)oint 
you must start from, is riational character. That 
lets you into many a secret ; as, for example, Paul 
dc Kock's popularity. The most prominent trait in 
the French character, is love of amusement, and 
excitement ; and — " 

'' 1 should say, rather, the fear of ennui," inter- 
rupted J*Meinriiirig. "One of their own writers has 
said with a great deal of truth, that the gentry of 
Prance rush into Paris to escape from ennui, as, in 
the noble days of chivalry, the defenceless inhabi- 
tants of the champaign fled into the castles, at the 



118 HYPERION, 

approach of some plundering knight, or lawless 
Baron ; forsaking the inspired twilight of their na- 
tive groves, for the luxurious shades of the royal 
gardens. What do you think of that ? " 

The Baron replied with a smile ; 

" There is only one Paris ; and out of Paris 
there is no salvation for decent people." 

Thus conversing of many things, sat the two 
friends under the linden-trees on the Rent Tower, 
till gradually the crowd disappeared from the gar- 
den, and the objects around them grew indistinct, 
in the fading twilight. Between them and the 
amber-colored western sky, the dense foliage of 
the trees looked heavy and hard, as if cast in 
bronze ; and already the evening stars hung like 
silver lamps in the towering branches of that Tree 
of Life, brought more than two centuries ago 
from its primeval Paradise in America, to beautify 
the gardens of the Palatinate. 

" I take a mournful pleasure in gazing at that 
tree," said Flemming, as they rose to depart. " It 
stands there so straight and tall, with iron bands 



A ROMANCE. 119 

around its noble trunk and limbs, in silent majesty, 
or whispering only in its native tongue, and freight- 
ing the homeward wind with sighs ! It reminds 
me of some captive monarch of a savage tribe, 
brought over the vast ocean for a show, and 
chained in the public market-place of the city, 
disdainfully silent, or breathing only in melancholy 
accents a prayer for his native forest, a longing to 
be free." 

" Magnificent ! " cried the Baron. *^ I always 
experience something of the same feeling when I 
walk through a conservatory. The luxuriant plants 
of the tropics, — those illustrious exotics, with their 
gorgeous, flamingo-colored blossoms, and great, 
flapping leaves, like elephant's ears, ■ — have a sin- 
gular working upon my imagination ; and remind 
me of a menagerie and wild-beasts kept in cages. 
But your illustration is finer ; — indeed, a grand 
figure. Put it down for an epic poem." 



120 HYPERION, 



CHAPTER IV. 



A BEER- SCANDAL. 



On their way homeward, Flemming and the 
Baron passed through a narrow lane, in which was 
a well-known Studenten-Kneipe. At the door 
stood a young man, whom the Baron at once rec- 
ognised as his friend Von Kleist. He was a stu- 
dent ; and universally acknowledged, among his 
young acquaintance, as a " devihsh handsome fel- 
low " ; notwithstanding a tremendous scar on his 1 
cheek, and a cream-colored mustache, as soft as ^ 
the silk of Indian corn. In short he was a re- 
nowner, and a duellist. 

" What are you doing here, Von Kleist ? " 

^^ Ah, my dear Baron ! Is it you ? Come in ; 
come in. You shall see some sport. A Fox- 
Commerce is on foot, and a regular Beer-Scandal." 

" Shall we go in, Flemming ? " 



A ROMANCE. 121 

" Certainly. I should like to see how these 
things are managed in Heidelberg. You are a 
Baron, and I am a stranger. It is of no conse- 
quence what you and I do, as the king's fool An- 
geli said to the poet Bautru, urging him to put on 
his hat at the royal dinner-table." 

William Lilly, the Astrologer, says, in his Auto- 
biography, that, when he was committed to the 
guard-room in White Hall, he thought himself in 
hell ; for " some were sleeping, others swearing, 
others smoking tobacco ; and in the chimney of 
the room there were two bushels of broken tobac- 
co-pipes, and almost half a load of ashes.'' What 
he would have thought if he had peeped into this 
Heidelberg Studenten-Kneipe, I know not. He 
certainly would not have thought himself in heav- 
en ; unless it were a Scandinavian heaven. The 
windows were open ; and yet so dense was the at- 
mosphere with the smoke of tobacco, and the 
fumes of beer, that the tallow candles burnt but 
dimly. A crowd of students were sitting at three 
long tables, in the large hall ; a medley of fellows, 

VOL. I. 6 



122 HYPERION, 

known at German Universities under the cant 
names of Old-Ones, Mossy-Heads, Princes of 
Twilight, and Pomatum-Stallions. They were 
smoking, drinking, singing, screaming, and discuss- 
ing the great Laws of the Broad-Stone and the 
Gutter. They had a great deal to say, likewise, 
about Besens, and Zobels, and Poussades ; and, if 
they had been charged for the noise they made, as 
travellers used to be, in the old Dutch taverns, 
they would have had a longer bill to pay for that, 
than for their beer. 

In a large arm-chair, upon the middle table, 
sat one of those distinguished individuals, known 
among German students as a Senior, or Leader of 
a Landsmannschaft. He was booted and spurred, 
and wore a very small crimson cap, and a very 
tight blue jacket, and very long hair, and a very 
dirty shirt. He was President of the night ; and, 
as Flemming entered the hall with the Baron and 
his friend, striking upon the table with a mighty 
broadsword, he cried in a loud voice ; 

" Silentium ! " 



A ROMANCE. 123 

At the same moment a door at the end of the 
hall was thrown open, and a procession of new- 
comers, or Nasty-Foxes, as they are called in the 
college dialect, entered two by two, looking wild, 
and green, and foolish. As they came forward, 
they were obliged to pass under a pair of naked 
swords, held cross-wise by two Old-Ones, who, 
with pieces of burnt cork, made an enormous 
pair of mustaches, on the smooth, rosy cheeks 
of each, as he passed beneath this arch of tri- 
umph. While the procession was entering the 
hall, the President lifted up his voice again, and 
began to sing the well-known Fox-song, in the 
chorus of which all present joined lustily. 



What comes there from the hill ? 
What comes there from the hill ? 
What comes there from the leathery hill ? 

Ha! Ha! 

Leathery hill ! 
What comes there from the hill ? 



124 HYPERION, 

It is a postilion ! 
It is a postilion ! 
It is a leathery postilion ! 

Ha! Ha! 

Postilion ! 
It is a postilion ! 

What brings the postilion ? 
What brings the postilion ? 
What brings the leathery postilion ? 

Ha ! Ha ! 

Postilion ! 
What brings the postilion ? 

He bringeth us a Fox ! 
He bringeth us a Fox ! 
He bringeth us a leathery Fox ! 

Ha! Ha! 

Leathery Fox ! 
He bringeth us a Fox ! 

Your servant, Masters mine ! 
Your servant, Masters mine ! 
Your servant, much-honored Masters mine ! 

Ha! Ha! 

Much-honored Masters mine ! 
Your servant, Masters mine ! 



A ROMANCE. 125 

How does the Herr Papa ? 
How does the Herr Papa ? 
How does the leathery Herr Papa ? 

Ha ! Ha ! 

Herr Papa ! 
How does the Herr Papa ? 

He reads in Cicero ! 
He reads in Cicero ! 
He reads in leathery Cicero I 

Hal Ha! 

Cicero ! 
He reads in Cicero ! 

How does the Frau Mama ? 
How does the Frau Mama ? 
How does the leathery Frau Mama ? 

Ha! Ha! 

Frau Mama ! 
How does the Frau Mama ? 

She makes the Papa tea ! 
She makes the Papa tea ! 
She makes the Papa leathery tea ! 

Ha! Ha! 

Leathery tea ! 
She makes the Papa tea ! 



126 HYPERION, 

How does the Marasell ScEur ? 
How does the Mamsell Soeur ? 
How does the leathery Marasell Sceur ? 

Ha! Ha! 

Mamsell Soeur ! 
How does the Mamsell Soeur ? 

She knits the Papa stockings ! 
She knits the Papa stockings ! 
She knits the Papa leathery stockings ! 

Ha! Hai 

Leathery stockings ! 
She knits the Papa stockings I 

How does the Herr Rector ? 
How does the Herr Rector ? 
How does the leathery Herr Rector ? 

Ha! Ha! 

Herr Rector I 
How does the Herr Rector ? 

He calls the scholar. Boy ! 
He calls the scholar, Boy ! 
He calls the scholar, leathery Boy ! 

Ha! Ha! 

Leathery Boy ! 
He calls the scholar, Boy ! 



A ROMANCE. 127 

And smokes the Fox tobacco ? 
And smokes the Fox tobacco ? 
And smokes the leathery Fox tobacco ? 

Ha! Ha! 

Fox tobacco I 
And smokes the Fox tobacco ? 

A little, Masters mine ! 
A little, Masters mine ! 
A little, much- honored Masters mine ! 

Ha! Ha! 

Much-honored Masters mine ! 
A little, Masters mine ! 

Then let him fill a pipe ! 
Then let him fill a pipe ! 
Then let him fill a leathery pipe ! 

Ha! Ha! 

Leathery pipe ! 
Then let him fill a pipe ! 

* 
O Lord ! It makes me sick ! 
O Lord ! It makes him sick ! 
O Lord ! It makes me leathery sick ! 

Ha! Ha! 

Leathery sick ! 
O Lord ! It makes me sick ! 



128 HYPERION, 

Then let him throw it off ! 
Then let him throw it off ! 
Then let him throw it leathery off ! 

Ha! Ha! 

Leathery off! 
Then let him throw it off! 

Now I again am well ! 
Now he again is well! 
Now I again am leathery well ! 

Ha ! Ha ! 

Leathery well ! 
Now I again am well ! 

So grows the Fox a Bursch ! 
So grows the Fox a Bursch ! 
So grows the leathery Fox a Bursch ! 

Ha! Ha! 

Fox a Bursch ! 
So grows the Fox a Bursch ! 

At length the song was finished. Meanwhile 
large tufts and strips of paper had been twisted 
into the hair of the Branders, as those are called 
who have been already one semestre at the Uni- 
versity, and then at a given signal were set on fire, 



A ROMANCE. 129 

and the Branders rode round the table on sticks, 
amid roars of laughter. When this ceremony was 
completed, the President rose from his chair, and 
in a solemn voice pronounced a long discourse, in 
which old college jokes were mingled with much 
parental advice to young men on entering life, and 
the whole was profusely garnished with select 
passages from the Old Testament. Then they all 
seated themselves at the table and the heavy beer- 
drinking set in, as among the Gods and Heroes of 
the old Northern mythology. 

" Brander ! Brander ! " screamed a youth, 
whose face was hot and flushed with supper and 
with beer ; " Brander, I say ? Thou art a Doctor ! 
No, — a Pope ; — thou art a Pope, by — " 

These words were addressed to a pale, quiet- 
looking person, who sat opposite, and was busy 
in making a wretched, shaved poodle sit on his 
hind legs in a chair, by his master's side, and hold 
a short clay pipe in his mouth, — a performance 
to which the poodle seemed no wise inclined. 

"Thou art challenged !" replied the pale Stu- 
6 * 



130 HYPERION, 

dent, turning from his dog, who dropped the pipe 
from his mouth and leaped under the table. 

Seconds were chosen on the spot ; and the arms 
ordered ; namely, six mighty goblets, or Bassglaser, 
filled to the brim with foaming beer. Three were 
placed before each duellist. 

" Take your weapons ! " cried one of the sec- 
onds, and each of the combatants seized a goblet 
in his hand. 

" Strike ! " 

And the glasses rang, with a salutation like the 
crossing of swords. 

"Set to!" 

Each set the goblet to his lips. 

" Out ! " 

And each poured the contents down his throat, 
as if he were pouring them through a tunnel into 
a beer-barrel. The other two glasses followed in 
quick succession, hardly a long breath drawn be- 
tween. The pale Student was victorious. He 
was first to drain the third goblet. He held it for 
a moment inverted, to let the last drops fall out, 



A ROMANCE. 131 

and then placing it quietly on the table, looked his 
antagonist in the face, and said ; 

"Hit!" 

Then, with the greatest coolness, he looked un- 
der the table and whistled for his dog. His antag- 
onist stopped midway in his third glass. Every 
vein in his forehead seemed bursting; his eyes 
were wild and bloodshot, his hand gradually loos- 
ened its hold upon the table, and he sank and 
rolled together like a sheet of lead. He was 
drunk. 

At this moment a majestic figure came stalking 
down the table, ghost-like, through the dim, smoky 
atmosphere. His coat was off, his neck bare, his 
hair wild, his eyes wide open, and looking right 
before him, as if he saw some beckoning hand in 
the air, that others could not see. His left hand 
was upon his hip, and in his right he held a drawn 
sword extended, and pointing downward. Regard- 
less of every one, erect, and with a martial stride 
he marched directly along the centre of the table, 
crushing glasses and overthrowing bottles at every 



132 HYPEEION, 

Step. The students shrunk back at his approach ; 
till at length one more drunk, or more courageous, 
than the rest, dashed a glass full of beer into his 
face. A general tumult ensued, and the student 
with the sword leaped to the floor. It was Von 
Kleist. He was renowning it. In the midst of the 
uproar could be distinguished the offensive words ; 

" Arrogant ! Absurd ! Impertinent ! Dum- 
mer Junge ! " 

Von Kleist went home th^t night with no less 
than six duels on his hands. He fought them all 
out in as many days ; and came off with only a 
gash through his upper lip and another through his 
right eyelid from a dexterous Suabian Schlaeger. 



A ROx\IAj\CE. 133 



CHAPTER V. 



THE WHITE lady's SLIPPER AND THE PASSION- 
FLOWER. 



That night Emma of Ilmenau went to her 
chamber with a heavy heart, and her dusky eyes 
were troubled with tears. She was one of those 
gentle beings, who seem created only to love and 
to be loved. A shade of melancholy softened her 
character. She shunned the glare of daylight 
and of society, and wished to be alone. Like the 
evening primrose, her heart opened only after sun- 
set ; but bloomed through the dark night with sweet 
fragrance. Her mother, on the contrary, flaunted 
in the garish light of society. There was no sym- 
pathy between them. Their souls never approach- 
ed, never understood each other, and words were 
often spoken which wounded deeply. And there- 



134 HYPERION, 

fore Emma of Ilmenau went to her chamber that 
night with tears in her eyes. 

She was followed by her French chamber-maid, 
Madeleine, a native of Strassburg, who had grown 
old in the family. In her youth, she had been 
poor, — and virtuous because she had never been 
tempted ; and, now that she had grown old, and 
seen no immediate reward for her virtue, as is 
usual with weak minds, she despaired of Provi- 
dence, and regretted she had never been tempted. 
Whilst this unfortunate personage was lighting the 
wax tapers on the toilet, and drawing the bed -cur- 
tains, and tattling about the room, Emma threw 
herself into an arm-chair, and, crossing her hands 
in her lap, and letting her head fall upon her 
bosom, seemed lost in a dream. 

" Why have these gentle feelings been given 
me ! " said she in her heart. " Why have I been 
born with all these warm affections, — these ardent 
longings after what is good, if they lead only to 
sorrow and disappointment ? I would love some 
one ; — love him once and forever; — devote my- 



A ROMANCE. 135 

self to him alone, — live for him, — die for him., — 
exist alone in him! But alas! in all this wide 
world there is none to love me, as I would be 
loved, — none whom I may love, as I am capable 
of loving. How empty, how desolate, seems 
the world about me ! Why has Heaven given me 
these affections, only to fall and fade ! " 

Alas ! poor child ! thou too must learn like oth- 
ers, that the sublime mystery of Providence goes 
on in silence, and gives no explanation of itself, — 
no answer to our impatient questionings ! 

" Bless me, child, what ails you ? " exclaimed 
Madeleine, perceiving that Emma paid no at- 
tention to her idle gossip. " When I was of your 
age " 

" Do not talk to me now, good Madeleine. 
Leave me, I wish to be alone ? " 

" Well, here is something," continued the maid, 
taking a billet from her bosom, " which I hope will 
enliven you. When I was of your age " 

" Hush ! hush ! " said Emma, taking the billet 



136 HYPERION, 

from the hard hand of Madeleine. " Once more 
I beg you, leave me ! I wish to be alone ! " 

Madeleine took the lamp and retired slowly, 
wishing her young mistress many good nights and 
rosy dreams. Emma broke the seal of the note. 
As she read, her face became deadly pale, and 
then, as quick as thought, a crimson blush gleamed 
on her cheek, and her hands trembled. Tender- 
ness, pity, love, offended pride, the weakness 
and dignity of woman, were all mingled in her 
look, changing and passing over her fine coun- 
tenance like cloud-shadows. She sunk back in 
her chair, covering her face with her hands, as if 
she would hide it from herself and Heaven. 

"He loves me ! " said she to herself; "loves 
me ; and is married to another, whom he loves 
not ! and dares to tell me this ! O, never, — 
never, — never ! And yet he is so friendless and 
alone in this unsympathizing world, — and an exile, 
and homeless ! I can but pity him ; — yet I hate 
him, and will see him no more ! " 

This short reverie of love and hate was broken 



A ROMANCE. 137 

by the sound of a clear, mellow voice, which, in 
the universal stillness of the hour, seemed almost 
hke the voice of a spirit. It was a voice, with- 
out the accompaniment of any instrument, sing- 
ing those sweet lines of Goethe ; 

'' Under the tree-tops is quiet now I 
In all the woodlands hearest thou 

Not a sound ! 
The little birds are asleep in the trees, 
Wait ! wait ! and soon like these, 
Sleepest thou ! " 

Emma knew the voice and started. She rushed 
to the window to close it. It was a beautiful 
night, and the stars were shining peacefully over 
the mountain of All-Saints. The sound of the 
Neckar was soft and low, and nightingales were 
singing among the brown shadows of the woods. 
The large red moon shone, like a ruby, in the 
horizon's ample ring ; and golden threads of 
light seemed braided together with the rippling 
current of the river. Tall and spectral stood the 
white statues on the bridge. The outline of the 



138 HYPERION, 

hills, the castle, the arches of the bridge, and the 
spires and roofs of the town were as strongly- 
marked as if cut out of pasteboard. Amid this 
fairy scene, a little boat was floating silently down 
the stream. Emma closed the window hastily, 
and drew the curtains close. 

"I hate him; and yet I will pray for him," 
said she, as she laid her weary head upon that pil- 
low, from which, but a few months before, she 
thought she should never raise it again. " O, 
that 1 had died then 1 I dare not love him, but I 
will pray for him! " 

Sweet child 1 If the face of the deceiver comes 
so often between thee and Heaven, I tremble for 
thy fate ! The plant that sprang from Helen's 
tears destroyed serpents ; — would that from thine 
might spring up heart's-ease ; — some plant, at 
least, to destroy the serpents in thy bosom. Be- 
lieve me, upon the margin of celestial streams 
alone, those simples grow, which cure the heart- 
ache ! 

And this the silent stars beheld, looking down 



A ROMANCE. 139 

from heaven, and told it not again. This, like- 
wise, the Frau Himmelhahn beheld, looking from 
her chamber-window, and was not so discreet as 
the silent stars. 



140 HYPERION, 



CHAPTER VI. 

GLIMPSES INTO CLOUD-LAND. 

" There are many things, which, having no 
corporeal evidence, can be perceived and com- 
prehended only by the discursive energies of rea- 
son. Hence the ambiguous nature of matter can 
be comprehended only by adulterated opinion. 
Matter is the principle of all bodies, and is stamp- 
ed with the impression of forms. Fire, air, and 
water derive their origin and principle from the 
scalene triangle. But the earth was created from 
right-angled triangles, of which two of the sides 
are equal. The sphere and the pyramid contain 
in themselves the figure of fire; but the octae- 
dron was destined to be the figure of air, and 
the icosaedron of water. The right-angled isos- 
celes triangle produces from itself a square, and 



A ROMANCE. 141 

the square generates from itself the cube, which 
is the figure peculiar to earth. But the figure 
of a beautiful and perfect sphere was impart- 
ed to the most beautiful and perfect world, that 
it might be indigent of nothing, but contain all 
things, embracing and comprehending them in 
itself, and thus might be excellent and admirable, 
similar to and in concord with itself, ever moving 
musically and melodiously. If I use a novel lan- 
guage, excuse me. As Apuleius says, pardon 
must be granted to novelty of words, when it 
serves to illustrate the obscurity of things." 

These words came from the lips of the lion-like 
philosopher, who has been noticed before in these 
pages. He was sitting with Flemming, smoking a 
long pipe. As the Baron said, he was indeed a 
strange owl ; for the owl is a grave bird ; a monk, 
who chants midnight mass in the great temple of 
Nature ; — an anchorite, — a pillar saint, — the 
very Simeon Styhtes of his neighbourhood. Such, 
likewise, was the philosophical Professor. Soli- 



142 HYPERION, 

tary, but with a mighty current, flowed the river 
of his life, Hke the Nile, without a tributary 
stream, and making fertile only a single strip in 
the vast desert. His temperament had been in 
youth a joyous one; and now, amid all his sorrows 
and privations, for he had many, he looked upon 
the world as a glad, bright, glorious world. On 
the many joys of life he gazed still with the eyes 
of childhood, from the far-gone Past upward, 
trusting, hoping ; — and upon its sorrows with the 
eyes of age, from the distant Future, downward, 
triumphant, not despairing. He loved solitude, 
and silence, and candle-light, and the deep mid- 
night. " For," said he, " if the morning hours 
are the wings of the day, I only fold them about 
me to sleep more sweetly ; knowing that, at its 
other extremity, the day, like the fowls of the 
air, has an epicurean morsel, — a parson's nose ; 
and on this oily midnight my spirit revels and is 
glad." 

Such was the Professor, who had been talking 
in a half-intelligible strain for two hours or more. 



A ROMANCE. 143 

The Baron had fallen fast asleep in his chair ; but 
Flemming sat listening with excited imagination, 
and the Professor continued in the following words, 
which, to the best of his listener's memory, seem- 
ed gleaned here and there from Fichte's Destiny 
of Man, and Shubert's History of the Soul. 

" Life is one, and universal ; its forms many 
and individual. Throughout this beautiful and 
wonderful creation there is never-ceasing motion, 
without rest by night or day, ever weaving to and 
fro. Swifter than a weaver's shuttle it flies from 
Birth to Death, from Death to Birth ; from the 
beginning seeks the end, and finds it not, for the 
seeming end is only a dim beginning of a new 
out-going and endeavour after the end. As the 
ice upon the mountain, when the warm breath 
of the summer sun breathes upon it, melts, 
and divides into drops, each of which reflects an 
image of the sun ; so life, in the smile of God's 
love, divides itself into separate forms, each bear- 
ing in it and reflecting an image of God's love. 
Of all these forms the highest and most perfect in 



144 HYPERION, 

its god-likeness is the human soul. The vast 
cathedral of Nature is full of holy scriptures, and 
shapes of deep, mysterious meaning; but all is 
solitary and silent there ; no bending knee, no up- 
lifted eye, no lip adoring, praying. Into this vast 
cathedral comes the human soul, seeking its Cre- 
ator ; and the universal silence is changed to 
sound, and the sound is harmonious, and has a 
meaning, and is comprehended and felt. It was 
an ancient saying of the Persians, that the waters 
rush from the mountains and hurry forth into all 
the lands to find the Lord of the Earth ; and the 
flame of the Fire, when it awakes, gazes no more 
upon the ground, but mounts heavenward to seek 
the Lord of Heaven ; and here and there the 
Earth has built the great watch-towers of the 
mountains, and they lift their heads far up into 
the sky, and gaze ever upward and around, to see 
if the Judge of the World comes not ! Thus in 
Nature herself, without man, there lies a waiting, 
and hoping, a looking and yearning, after an un- 
known somewhat. Yes ; when, above there, 



A ROMANCE. 145 

where the mountain hfts its head over all others, 
that it may be alone with the clouds and storms of 
heaven, the lonely eagle looks forth into the gray 
dawn, to see if the day comes not ! when, by the 
mountain torrent, the brooding raven listens to 
hear if the chamois is returning from his nightly 
pasture in the valley ; and when the soon uprising 
sun calls out the spicy odors of the thousand 
flowers, the Alpine flowers, with heaven's deep 
blue and the blush of sunset on their leaves ; — 
then there awakes in Nature, and the soul of man 
can see and comprehend it, an expectation and a 
longing for a future revelation of God's majesty. 
It awakens, also, when in the fulness of life, field 
and forest rest at noon, and through the stillness is 
heard only the song of the grasshopper and the 
hum of the bee ; and when at evening the singing 
lark, up from the sweet-smelling vineyards rises, 
or in the later hours of night Orion puts on his 
shining armour, to walk forth in the fields of heaven. 
But in the soul of man alone is this longing 
changed to certainty and fulfilled. For lo ! the 

VOL. I. 7 



146 HYPERION, 

light of the sun and the stars shines through the 
air, and is nowhere visible and seen ; the planets 
hasten with more than the speed of the storm 
through infinite space, and their footsteps are not 
heard, but where the sunlight strikes the firm 
surface of the planets, where the stormwind 
smites the wall of the mountain clifi", there is the 
one seen and the other heard. Thus is the glory 
of God made visible, and may be seen, where in 
the soul of man it meets its likeness changeless 
and firm-standing. Thus, then, stands Man ; — a 
mountain on the boundary between two worlds ; — 
its foot in one, its summit far-rising into the other. 
From this summit the manifold landscape of life 
is visible, the way of the Past and Perishable, 
which we have left behind us ; and, as we ever- 
more ascend, bright glimpses of the daybreak of 
Eternity beyond us ! " 

Flemming would fain have interrupted this dis- 
course at times, to answer and inquire, but the 
Professor went on, warming and glowing more and 



A ROMANCE. 147 

more. At length, there was a short pause, and 
Flerriming said ; 

"All these indefinite longings, — these yearn- 
ings after an unknown somewhat, I have felt and 
still feel within me ; but not yet their fulfilment." 

" That is because you have not faith ; " an- 
swered the Professor. " The Present is an age 
of doubt and disbelief, and darkness ; out of which 
shall arise a clear and bright Hereafter. In the 
second part of Goethe's Faust, there is a grand 
and striking scene, where in the classical Walpur- 
gis Night, on the Pharsalian Plains, the mocking 
Mephistopheles sits down between the solemn an- 
tique Sphinxes, and boldly questions them, and 
reads their riddles. The red light of innumerable 
watch-fires glares all round about, and shines upon 
the terrible face of the arch-scoffer ; while on ei- 
ther side, severe, majestic, solemnly serene, we 
behold the gigantic forms of the children of Chi- 
maera, half buried in the earth, their mild eyes 
gazing fixedly, as if they heard through the mid- 
night, the swift-rushing wings of the Stymphalides, 



148 HYPERION, 

Striving to outstrip the speed of Alcides' arrows ! 
Angry griffins are near them ; and not far are Si- 
rens, singing their wondrous songs from the rock- 
ing branches of the willow trees ! Even thus does 
a scoffing and unbelieving Present sit down, be- 
tween an unknown Future and a too believing 
Past, and question and challenge the gigantic 
forms of faith, half buried in the sands of Time, 
and gazing forward steadfastly into the night, 
whilst sounds of anger and voices of delight al- 
ternate vex and soothe the ear of man ! — But the 
time will come, when the soul of man shall return 
again childlike and trustful to its faith in God ; and 
look God in the face and die ; for it is an old say- 
ing, full of deep, mysterious meaning, that he 
must die, who hath looked upon a God. And this 
is the fate of the soul, that it should die continual- 
ly. No sooner here on earth does it awake to its 
peculiar being, than it struggles to behold and com- 
prehend the Spirit of Life. In the first dim twi- 
light of its existence, it beholds this spirit, is per- 
vaded by its energies, — is quick and creative like 



A ROMANCE. 149 

the spirit itself, and yet slumbers away into death 
after having seen it. But the image it has seen, 
remains, in the eternal procreation, as a homoge- 
neal existence, is again renewed, and the seeming 
death, from moment to moment, becomes the 
source of kind after kind of existences in ever- 
ascending series. The soul aspires ever onward 
to love and to behold. It sees the image more 
perfect in the brightening twilight of the dawn, in 
the ever higher-rising sun. It sleeps again, dying 
in the clearer vision ; but the image seen remains 
as a permanent kind ; and the slumberer awakes 
anew and ever higher after its own image, till at 
length, in the full blaze of noonday, a being comes 
forth, which, like the eagle, can behold the sun 
and die not. Then both live on, even when this 
bodily element, the mist and vapor through which 
the young eagle gazed, dissolves and falls to 
earth." 

" I am not sure that I understand you," said 
Flemming ; " but if I do, you mean to say, that, 
as the body continually changes and takes unto it- 



150 HYPERION, 

self new properties, and is not the same to-day as 
yesterday, so likewise the soul lays aside its idio- 
syncrasies, and is changed by acquiring new pow- 
ers, and thus may be said to die. And hence, 
properly speaking, the soul lives always in the 
Present, and has, and can have, no Future ; for 
the Future becomes the Present, and the soul that 
then lives in me is a higher and more perfect 
soul ; and so onward forevermore." 

" I mean what I say," continued the Professor ; 
" and can find no more appropriate language to 
express my meaning than that which I have used. 
But as I said before, pardon must be granted to 
the novelty of words, when it serves to illustrate 
the obscurity of things. And I think you will see 
clearly from what I have said, that this earthly life, 
when seen hereafter from heaven, will seem like 
an hour passed long ago, and dimly remembered ; 
— that long, laborious, full of joys and sorrows as 
it is, it will then have dwindled down to a mere 
point, hardly visible to the far-reaching ken of the 
disembodied spirit. But the spirit itself soars on- 



A ROMANCE. 151 

ward. And thus death is neither an end nor a be- 
ginning. It is a transition not from one existence 
to another, but from one state of existence to an- 
other. No link is broken in the chain of being ; 
any more than in passing from infancy to manhood, 
from manhood to old age. There are seasons of 
reverie and deep abstraction, which seem to me 
analogous to death. The soul gradually loses its 
consciousness of what is passing around it; and 
takes no longer cognizance of objects which are 
near. It seems for the moment to have dissolved 
its connexion with the body. It has passed as it 
were into another state of being. It lives in an- 
other world. It has flown over lands and seas ; 
and holds communion with those it loves, in distant 
regions of the earth, and the more distant heaven. 
It sees familiar faces, and hears beloved voices, 
which to the bodily senses are no longer visible 
and audible. And this likewise is death ; save 
that when we die, the soul returns no more to the 
dwelling it has left." 

" You seem to take it for granted," interrupted 



152 HYPERION, 

Flemming, " that, in our reveries, the soul really 
goes out of the body into distant places, instead of 
summoning up their semblance within itself by the 
power of memory and imagination ! " 

" Something I must take for granted," replied 
the Professor. " We will not discuss that point 
now. I speak not without forethought. Just ob- 
serve what a glorious thing human life is, when 
seen in this light ; and how glorious man's destiny. 
I am ; thou art ; he is ! seems but a school-boy's 
conjugation. But therein lies a great mystery. 
These w^ords are significant of much. We behold 
all round about us one vast union, in which no man 
can labor for himself without laboring at the same 
time for all others ; a glimpse of truth, which by 
the universal harmony of things becomes an inward 
benediction, and lifts the soul mightily upward. 
Still more so, when a man regards himself as a 
necessary member of this union. The feeling of 
our dignity and our power grows strong, when we 
say to ourselves ; My being is not objectless and in 
vain ; I am a necessary link in the great chain, 



A ROMANCE. 153 

which, from the full developement of consciousness 
in the first nian, reaches forward into eternity. 
All the great, and wise, and good among mankind, 
all the benefactors of the human race, whose 
names I read in the world's history, and the still 
greater number of those, whose good deeds have 
outlived their names, — all those have labored for 
me. I have entered into their harvest. I walk 
the green earth, which they inhabited. I tread in 
their footsteps, from which blessings grow. I can 
undertake the sublime task, which they once un- 
dertook, the task of making our common brother- 
hood wiser and happier. T can build forward, 
where they were forced to leave off; and bring 
nearer to perfection the great edifice which they 
left uncompleted. And at length I, too, must leave 
it, and go hence. O, this is the sublimest thought 
of all ! I can never finish the noble task ; 
therefore, so sure as this task is my destiny, 1 can 
never cease to work, and consequently never cease 
to be. What men call death cannot break off this 

task, which is never-ending ; consequently no pe- 

7 * 



154 HYPERION, 

riod is set to my being, and I am eternal. I lift 
my head boldly to the threatening mountain peaks, 
and to the roaring cataract, and to the storm-clouds 
swimming in th3 fire-sea overhead and say ; I. am 
eternal, and defy your power 1 Break, break over 
me ! and thou Earth, and thou Heaven, mingle in 
the wild tumult ! and ye Elements foam and rage, 
and destroy this atom of dust, — this body, which 
I call mine ! My will alone, with its fixed purpose, 
shall hover brave and triumphant over the rains of 
the universe ; for I have comprehended my des- 
tiny ; and it is more durable than ye ! It is eter- 
nal ; and I, who recognise it, I likewise am eter- 
nal 1 Tell me, my friend, have you no faith in 
this ? " 

" I have ; " answered Flemming, and there was 
another pause. He then said ; 

" I have listened to you patiently and without 
interruption. Now listen to me. You complain 
of the skepticism of the age. This is one form 
in which the philosophic spirit of the age presents 
itself. Let me tell you, that another form, which 



A ROMANCE. 155 

it assumes, is that of poetic reverie. Plato of old 
had dreams like these ; and the Mystics of the 
Middle Ages ; and still their disciples walk in the 
cloud-land and dream-land of this poetic philoso- 
phy. Pleasant and cool upon their souls lie the 
shadows of the trees under which Plato taught. 
From their whispering leaves comes wafted across 
the noise of populous centuries a solemn and mys- 
terious soundj which to them is the voice of the 
Soul of the World. All nature has become spirit- 
ualized and transfigured ; and, wrapt in beautiful, 
vague dreams of the real and the ideal, they live in 
this green world, like the little child in the Ger- 
man tale, w^ho sits by the margin of a woodland 
lake, and hears the blue heaven and the branches 
overhead dispute with their reflection in the water, 
which is the reality and which the image. I wil- 
lingly confess, that such day-dreams as these appeal 
strongly to my imagination. Visitants and attend- 
ants are they of those lofty souls, which, soaring 
ever higher and higher, build themselves nests un- 
der the very eaves of the stars, forgetful that they 



156 HYPERION, 

cannot live on air, but must descend to earth for 
food. Yet I recognise them as day-dreams only ; 
as shadows, not substantial things. What I mainly 
dislike in the New Philosophy, is the cool imper- 
tinence with which an old idea, folded in a new 
garment, looks you in the face and pretends not to 
know you, though you have been familiar friends 
from childhood. I remember an English author 
who, in speaking of your German Philosophies, says 
very wisely ; ^ Often a proposition of inscrutable 
and dread aspect, when resolutely grappled with, 
and torn from its shady den, and its bristling en- 
trenchments of uncouth terminology, — and drag- 
ged forth into the open light of day, to be seen 
by the natural eye and tried by merely human 
understanding, proves to be a very harmless truth, 
famihar to us from old, sometimes so familiar as to 
be a truism. Too frequently the anxious novice 
is reminded of Dryden in the Battle of the Books; 
there is a helmet of rusty iron, dark, grim, gigan- 
tic ; and within it, at the farthest corner, is a head 
no bigger than a walnut.' — Can you believe, that 



A ROMANCE. 157 

these words ever came from the hps of Carlyle ! 
He has himself taken up the uncouth terminology 
of late ; and many pure, simple minds are much 
offended at it. They seem to take it as a personal 
insult. They are angry ; and deny the just meed 
of praise. It is, however, hardly worth while to 
lose our presence of mind. Let us rather profit 
as we may, even from this spectacle, and recognise 
the monarch in his masquerade. For, hooded and 
wrapped about with that strange and antique garb, 
there walks a kingly, a most royal soul, even as 
the Emperor Charles walked amid solemn cloisters 
under a monk's cowl ; — a monarch still in soul. 
Such things are not new in the history of the 
world. Ever and anon they sweep over the 
earth, and blow themselves out soon, and then 
there is quiet for a season, and the atmosphere of 
Truth seems more serene. Why would you 
preach to the wind ? Why reason with thunder- 
showers ? Better sit quiet, and see them pass over 
like a pageant, cloudy, superb, and vast." 



158 HYPERION, 

The Professor smiled self-complacently, but said 
not a word. Flemming continued ; 

" I will add no more than this ; — there are 
many speculations in Literature, Philosophy, and 
Religion, which, though pleasant to walk in, and 
lying under the shadow of great names, yet 
lead to no important result. They resemble rath- 
er those roads in the western forests of my native 
land, which, though broad and pleasant at first, 
and lying beneath the shadow of great branches, 
finally dwindle to a squirrel track, and run up a 
tree ! " 

The Professor hardly knew whether he should 
laugh or be offended at this sally ; and, laying his 
hand upon Flemming's arm, he said seriously ; 

" Believe me, my young friend, the time will 
come, when you will think more wisely on these 
things. And with you, I trust, that time will soon 
come ; since it moves more speedily with some 
than with others. For what is Time ? The shad- 
ow on the dial, — the striking of the clock, — the 
running of the sand, — day and night, — sum- 



A EOMANCE. 159 

mer and winter, — months, years, centuries ! 
These are but arbitrary and outward signs, — the 
measure of Time, not Time itself! Time is the 
Life of the Soul. If not this, then tell me what 
it is ? " 

The high and animated tone of voice in which 
the Professor uttered these words aroused the 
Baron from his sleep ; and, not distinctly compre- 
hending what was said, but thinking the Professor 
asked what time it was, he innocently exclaimed ; 

^' I should think it must be near midnight ! " 

This somewhat disconcerted the Professor, who 
took his leave soon afterward. When he was gone 
the Baron said ; 

" Excuse me for treating your guest so cavalier- 
ly. His transcendentalism annoyed me not a 
little ; and I took refuge in sleep. One would 
think, to judge by the language of this sect, that 
they alone saw any beauty in Nature ; and, when I 
hear one of them discourse, I am instantly re- 
minded of Goethe's Baccalaureus, when he ex- 
claims ; ' The world was not before I created it ; I 



160 HYPERION, 

brought the sun up out of the sea ; with me began 
the changeful course of the moon ; the day decked 
itself on my account ; the earth grew green and blos- 
somed to meet me ; at my nod in that first night, 
the pomp of all the stars developed itself; who 
but I set you free from all the bonds of Philister- 
like, contracting thoughts? I, however, emanci- 
pated as my mind assures me I am, gladly pursue 
my inward light, advance boldly in a transport 
peculiarly my own, the bright before me, and the 
dark behind ! ' — Do you not see a resemblance ? 
O, they might be modest enough to confess, that 
one straggling ray of light may, by some accident, 
reach the blind eyes of even us poor, benighted 
heathens ? " 

" Alas ! how little veneration we have ! " said 
Flemming. " I could not help closing the discus- 
sion with a jest. An ill-timed levity often takes 
me by surprise. On all such occasions I think of 
a scene at the University, where, in the midst of a 
grave discussion on the possibility of Absolute 
Motion, a scholar said he had seen a rock split 



A ROMANCE. 161 

open, from which sprang a toad, who could not be 
supposed to have any knowledge of the external 
world, and consequently his motion must have 
been absolute. The learned Professor, who pre- 
sided on that occasion, was hardly more startled 
and astonished, than was our learned Professor, five 
minutes ago. But come ; wind up your watch, 
and let us go to bed." 

" By the way," said the Baron, " did you mind 
what a curious head he has. There are two 
crowns upon it." 

" That is a sign," replied Flemming, " that he 
will eat his bread in two kingdoms." 

" I think the poor man would be very thankful," 
said the Baron with a smile, " if he were always 
sure of eating it in one. He is what the Tran- 
scendentalists call a god-intoxicated man ; and I 
advise him, as Sauteul advised Bossuet, to go to 
Patmos and write a new Apocalypse." 



162 HYPERION, 



CHAPTER VII. 

MILL-WHEELS AND OTHER WHEELS. 

A FEW days after this the Baron received letters 
from his sister, telUng him, that her physicians had 
prescribed a few weeks at the Baths of Ems, and 
urging him to meet her there before the fashion- 
able season. 

" Come," said he to Flemming ; " make this 
short journey with me. We will pass a few pleas- 
ant days at Ems, and visit the other watering- 
places of Nassau. It will drive away the melan- 
choly day-dreams that haunt you. Perhaps some 
future bride is even now waiting for you, with dim 
presentiments and undefined longings, at the Ser- 
pent's Bath." 

^* Or some widow of Ems, with a cork-leg ! " 
said Flemming, smiling ; and then added, in a tone 



A ROMANCE. 163 

of voice half jest, half earnest, " Certainly ; let 
us go in pursuit of her ; — 

' Whoe'er she be, 
That not impossible she, 
That shall command ray heart and me. 

Where'er she lie, 

Hidden from mortal eye. 

In shady leaves of destiny.' " 

They started in the afternoon for Frankfort, 
pursuing their way slowly along the lovely 
Bergstrasse, famed throughout Germany for its 
beauty. They passed the ruined house where 
Martin Luther lay concealed after the Diet of 
Worms, and through the village of Handschuhshei- 
mer, as old as the days of King Pepin the Short, 
— a hamlet, lying under the hills, half-buried in 
blossoms and green leaves. Close on the right 
rose the mountains of the mysterious Odenwald ; 
and on the left lay the Neckar, like a steel bow in 
the meadow. Farther westward, a thin, smoky 
vapor betrayed the course of the Rhine ; beyond 
which, like a troubled sea, ran the blue, billowy 



164 HYPERION, 

Alsatian hills. Song of birds, and sound of eve- 
ning bells, and fragrance of sweet blossoms filled 
the air ; and silent and slow sank the broad red 
sun, half-hidden amid folding clouds. 

" We shall not pass the night at Weinheim," 
said the Baron to the postilion, who had dis- 
mounted to walk up the hill, leading to the town. 
" You may drive to the mill in the Valley of 

Birkenau." 

The postilion seized one of his fat horses by 
the tail, and swung himself up to his seat again. 
They rattled through the paved streets of Wein- 
heim, and took no heed of the host of the Golden 
Eagle, who stood so invitingly at the door of his 
own inn ; and the ruins of Burg Windeck, above 
there, on its mountain throne, frowned at them for 
hurrying by, without staying to do him homage. 

"The old ruin looks well from the valley," 
said the Baron ; " but let us beware of climbing 
that steep hill. Most travellers are like children ; 
they must needs touch whatever they behold. 
They climb up to every old broken tooth of a 



A ROMANCE. 165 

castle, which they find on their way ; — get a 
toilsome ascent and hot sunshine for their pains, 
and come down wearied and disappointed. I trust 
we are wiser." 

They crossed the bridge, and turned up the 
stream, passing under an arch of stone, which 
serves as a gateway to this enchanted Valley of 
Birkenau. A cool and lovely valley ! shut in by 
high hills; — shaded by alder-trees and tall pop- 
lars, under which rushes the Wechsnitz, a noisy 
mountain brook, that ever and anon puts its 
broad shoulder to the wheel of a mill, and 
shows that it can labor as well as laugh. At one 
of these mills they stopped for the night. 

A mill forms as characteristic a feature in the 
romantic German landscape, as in the romantic 
German tale. It is not only a mill, but likewise 
an ale-house and rural inn ; so that the associa- 
tions it suggests are not of labor only, but also 
of pleasure. It stands in the narrow defile, with 
its picturesque, thatched roof; thither throng the 



166 HYPERION, 

peasants, of a holiday j and there are rustic dances 
under the trees. 

In the twilight of the fast-approaching sum- 
mer nightj the Baron and Flemming walked 
forth along the borders of the stream. As they 
heard it, rushing and gushing among the stones and 
tangled roots, and the great wheel turning in the 
current, with its never-ceasing plash ! plash ! it 
brought to their minds that exquisite, simple song 
of Goethe, the Youth and the Mill-brook. It was 
for the moment a nymph, which sang to them in 
the voice of the waters. 

" I am persuaded," said Flemming, " that, in 
order fully to understand and feel the popular 
poetry of Germany, one must be familiar with the 
German landscape. Many sweet little poems are 
the outbreaks of momentary feelings ; — words, to 
which the song of birds, the rusthng of leaves, and 
the gurgle of cool waters form the appropriate 
music. Or perhaps I should say they are words, 
which man has composed to the music of nature. 
Can you not, even now, hear this brooklet telling 



A ROMANCE. 167 

you how it is on its way to the mill, where at day- 
break the miller's daughter opens her window, and 
comes down to bathe her face in its stream, and 
her bosom is so full and white, that it kindles the 
glow of love in the cool waters ! " 

'^ A most dehghtful ballad, truly," said the 
Baron. "But like many others of our little songs, 
it requires a poet to feel and understand it. Sing 
them in the valley and woodland shadows, and 
under the leafy roofs of garden walks, and at night, 
and alone, as they were written. Sing them not in 
the loud world, — for the loud world laughs such 
things to scorn. It is Mueller who says, in that 
little song, where the maiden bids the moon good 
evening; 

' This song was made to be sung at night, 
And he who reads it in broad daylight, 
Will never read the mystery right ; 
And yet it is childhke easy ! ' 

He has written a great many pretty songs, in 
which the momentary, indefinite longings and im- 
pulses of the soul of man find an expression. He 



168 HYPERION,. 

calls them the songs of a Wandering Horn-player. 
There is one among them much to our present 
purpose. He expresses in it, the feeling of unrest 
and desire of motion, which the sight and sound of 
running waters often produce in us. It is entitled, 
'Whither?' and is worth repeating to you. 

' I heard a brooklet gushing 
From its rocky fountain near, 
Down into the valley rushing, 
So fresh and wondrous clear. 

' I know not what came o'er me, 
Nor who the counsel gave ) 
But I must hasten downward, 
All with my pilgrim-stave. 

* Downward, and ever farther, 

And ever the brook beside ; 
And ever fresher murmured, 
And ever clearer the tide. 

* Is this the way I was going ? 

Whither, O brooklet, say ! 
Thou hast, with thy soft murmur. 
Murmured my senses away. 



A ROMANCE. 169 

* What do I say of a murmur ? 
That can no murmur be ; 
'T is the water-nymphs, that are singing 
Their roundelays under me. 

' Let them sing, my friend, let them murmur, 
And wander merrily near ; 
The wheels of a mill are going 
In every brooklet clear.' " 

" There you have the poetic reverie/' said 
Flemmingj " and the dull prose commentary and 
explanation in matter of fact. The song is pret- 
ty ; and was probably suggested by some such 
scene as this, which we are now beholding. 
Doubtless all your old national traditions sprang 
up in the popular mind as this song in the 
poet's." 

" Your opinion is certainly correct," answered 
the Baron ; " and yet all this play of poetic fancy 
does not prevent me from feeling the chill night 
air, and the pangs of hunger. Let us go back to 
the mill, and see what our landlady has for sup- 

VOL. I. 8 



170 HYPERION, 

per. Did you observe what a loud, sharp voice 
she has ? " 

" People always have, who live in mills, and 
near water-falls." 

On the following morning they emerged unwil- 
lingly from the green, dark valley, and journeyed 
along the level highway to Frankfort, where in 
the evening they heard the glorious Don Giovanni 
of Mozart. Of all operas this was Flemming's 
favorite. What rapturous flights of sound 1 what 
thrilling, pathetic chimes I what wild, joyous rev- 
elry of passion 1 what a delirium of sense ! — what 
an expression of agony and woe 1 all the feelings of 
suffering and rejoicing humanity sympathized with 
and finding a voice in those tones. Flemming and 
the Baron listened with ever-increasing dehght. 

"How wonderful this is!" exclaimed Flem- 
ming, transported by his feelings. "How the 
chorus swells and dies, like the wind of summer 1 
How those passages of mysterious import seem 
to wave to and fro, like the swaying branches 
of trees ; from which anon some solitary sweet 



A ROMANCE. 171 

voice darts off like a bird, and floats away and 
revels in the bright, warm sunshine ! And then 
mark ! how, amid the chorus of a hundred voices 
and a hundred instruments, — of flutes, and drums, 
and trumpets, — this universal shout and whirl- 
wind of the vexed air, you can so clearly distin- 
guish the melancholy vibration of a single string, 
touched by the finger, — a mournful, sobbing 
sound ! Ah, this is indeed human life ! where in 
the rushing, noisy crowd, and amid sounds of 
gladness, and a thousand mingling emotions, dis- 
tinctly audible to the ear of thought, are the 
pulsations of some melancholy string of the heart, 
touched by an invisible hand.'' 

Then came, in the midst of these excited feel- 
ings, the ballet ; drawing its magic net about 
the soul. And soon, from the tangled yet har- 
monious mazes of the dance, came forth a sylph- 
like form, her scarf floating behind her, as if 
she were fanning the air with gauze-like wings. 
Noiseless as a feather or a snow-flake falls, did 
her feet touch the earth. She seemed to float 



172 HYPERION, 

in the air, and the floor to bend and wave un- 
der her, as a branch, when a bird alights upon 
it, and takes wing again. Loud and rapturous 
applause followed each wonderful step, each vo- 
luptuous movement ; and, with a flushed cheek 
and burning eye, and bosom panting to be free, 
stood the gracefully majestic figure for a moment 
still, and then the winged feet of the swift dancing- 
girls glanced round her, and she was lost again in 
the throng. 

" How truly exquisite this is ! " exclaimed the 
Baron, after joining loudly in the applause. 
" What a noble figure ! What grace ! what at- 
titudes ! How much soul in every motion ! how 
much expression in every gesture ! I assure you, 
it produces upon me the same ejSect as a beautiful 
poem. It is a poem. Every step is a word ; and 
the whole together a poem ! " 

The Baron and Flemming were delighted with 
the scene ; and at the same time exceedingly 
amused with the countenance of an old prude in 
the next box, who seemed to look upon the whole 



A ROMANCE. 173 

magic show, with such feehngs as Michal, Saul's 
daughter, experienced, when she looked from her 
window and saw King David dancing and leaping 
with his scanty garments. 

" After all," said Flemming, " the old French 
priest was not so far out of the way, when he said, 
in his coarse dialect, that the dance is the Devil's 
procession ; and paint and ornaments, the whetting 
of the devil's sword ; and the ring that is made 
in dancing, the devil's grindstone, whereon he 
sharpens his sword ; and finally, that a ballet is 
the pomp and mass of the Devil, and whosoever 
entereth therein, entereth into his pomp and mass ; 
for the woman who singeth is the prioress of the 
Devil, and they that answer are clerks, and they 
that look on are parishioners, and the cymbals and 
flutes are the bells, and the musicians that play 
are the ministers, of the Devil." 

"No doubt this good lady near us, thinks so 
likewise," answered the Baron laughing ; " but she 
likes it, for all that." 



174 HYPERION, 

When the play was over the Baron begged 
Flemming to sit still, till the crowd had gone. 

" I have a strange fancy," said he, " whenever 
I come to the theatre, to see the end of all things. 
When the crowd is gone, and the curtain raised 
again to air the house, and the lamps are all out, 
save here and there one behind the scenes, the 
contrast with what has gone before is most impres- 
sive. Every thing wears a dream-hke aspect. 
The empty boxes and stalls, — the silence, — the 
smoky twilight, and the magic scene dismantled, 
produce in me a strange, mysterious feeling. It 
is like a dim reflection of a theatre in water, or in 
a dusty mirror ; and reminds me of some of Hoff- 
mann's wild Tales. It is a practical moral lesson, 
— a commentary on the play, and makes the show 
complete." 

It was truly as he said ; only tenfold more des- 
olate, solemn, and impressive ; and produced upon 
the mind the effect we experience, when slumber 
is suddenly broken, and dreams and realities min- 



A ROMANCE. 175 

gle, and we know not yet whether we sleep or 
wake. As they at length passed out through the 
dimly-lighted passage, they heard a vulgar-looking 
fellow, with a sensual face and shaggy whiskers, 
say to some persons who were standing near 
him, and seemed to be hangers-on of the play- 
house ; 

" I shall run her six nights at Munich, and then 
take her on to Vienna." 

Flemming thought he was speaking of some fa- 
vorite horse. He was speaking of his beautiful 
wife, the ballet-dancer. 



176 HYPERION, 



CHAPTER VIII. 



OLD HUMBUG. 



What most interested our travellers in the an- 
cient city of Frankfort, was neither the opera nor 
the Ariadne of Dannecker, but the house in which 
Goethe was born, and the scenes he frequented in 
his childhood, and remembered in his old age. 
Such for example are the walks around the city, 
outside the moat ; the bridge over the Maine, with 
the golden cock on the cross, which the poet be- 
held and marvelled at when a boy ; the cloister of 
the Barefooted Friars, through which he stole with 
mysterious awe to sit by the oilcloth-covered table 
of old Rector Albrecht ; and the garden in which 
his grandfather walked up and down among fruit- 
trees and rose-bushes, in long morning gown, 
black velvet cap, and the antique leather gloves. 



A ROMANCE. 177 

which he annually received as Mayor on Pipers- 
Doomsday, representing a kind of middle person- 
age between Alcinous and Laertes. Thus, O Ge- 
nius ! are thy foot-prints hallowed ; and the star 
shines forever over the place of thy nativity. 

'' Your English critics may rail as they list," 
said the Baron, while he and Flemming were re- 
turning from a stroll in the leafy gardens, outside the 
moat ; " but, after all, Goethe was a magnificent 
old fellow. Only think of his life ; his youth of 
passion, alternately aspiring and desponding, stor- 
my, impetuous, headlong ; — his romantic man- 
hood, in which passion assumes the form of 
strength ; assiduous, careful, toiling, without haste, 
without rest ; and his sublime old age, — the age 
of serene and classic repose, where he stands like 
Atlas, as Claudian has painted him in the Battle 
of the Giants, holding the world aloft upon his 
head, the ocean-streams hard frozen in his hoary 
locks." 

" A good illustration of what the world calls his 
indifferentism." 

8 * 



178 HYPERION, 

" And do you know I rather like this indilFer- 
entism ? Did you never have the misfortune to live 
in a community, where a difficulty in the parish 
seemed to announce the end of the world ? or to 
know one of the benefactors of the human race, 
in the very ^ storm and pressure period ' of his 
indiscreet enthusiasm ? If you have, I think you 
will see something beautiful in the calm and dig- 
nified attitude which the old philosopher assumes." 

" It is a pity, that his admirers had not a little 
of this philosophic coolness. It amuses me to read 
the various epithets, which they apply to him ; 
The Dear, dear Man ! The Life-enjoying Man ! 
The All-sided One ! The Representative of Poet- 
ry upon earth ! The Many-sided M aster-Mind of 
Germany 1 His enemies rush into the other ex- 
treme, and hurl at him the fierce names of Old 
.Humbug ! and Old Heathen ! which hit like pis- 
tol-bullets." 

" I confess, he was no saint." 

" No ; his philosophy is the old ethnic philoso- 
phy. You will find it all in a convenient and 



A ROMANCE. 179 

concentrated, portable form in Horace's beautiful 
Ode to Thaliarcus. What I most object to in the 
old gentleman is his sensuality." 

" O nonsense. Nothing can be purer than the 
Iphigenia ; it is as cold and passionless as a marble 
statue." 

" Very true ; but you cannot say the same 
of some of the Roman Elegies and of that 
monstrous book the Elective Affinities." 

" Ah, my friend, Goethe is an artist ; and 
looks upon all things as objects of art merely. 
Why should he not be allowed to copy in words 
what painters and sculptors copy in colors and in 
marble ? " 

" The artist shows his character in the choice of 
his subject. Goethe never sculptured an Apollo, 
nor painted a Madonna. He gives us only sinful 
Magdalens and rampant Fauns. He does not so 
much idealize as realize." 

" He only copies nature." 

" So did the artists, who made the bronze 



180 HYPERION, 

lamps of Pompeii. Would you hang one of 
those in your hall ? To say that a man is an 
artist and copies nature is not enough. There are 
two great schools of art ; the imitative and the 
imaginative. The latter is the most noble, and 
most enduring ; and Goethe belonged rather to the 
former. Have you read Menzel's attack upon 
him ? " 

" It is truly ferocious. The Suabian hev^rs into 
him lustily. I hope you do not side w^ith him." 

" By no means. He goes too far. He blames 
the poet for not being a politician. He might as 
v^^ell blame him for not being a missionary to the 
Sandwich Islands." 

" And what do you think of Eckermann ? " 

" I think he is a toady ; a kind of German 
Boswell. Goethe knew he was drawing his por- 
trait, and attitudinized accordingly. He works 
very hard to make a Saint Peter out of an old Ju- 
piter, as the Catholics did at Rome." 

"Well; call him Old Humbug, or Old Hea- 



A ROMANCE. 181 

then, or what you please ; I maintairij that, with 
all his errors and short-comings, he was a glorious 
specimen of a man." 

" He certainly was. Did it ever occur to you 
that he was in some points like Ben Franklin ? a 
kind of rhymed Ben Franklin ? The practical ten- 
dency of his mind was the same ; his love of sci- 
ence was the same ; his benignant, philosophic spir- 
it was the same ; and a vast number of his little 
poetic maxims and sooth-sayings seem nothing 
more than the worldly wisdom of Poor Richard, 
versified." 

" What most offends me is, that now every 
German jackass must have a kick at the dead 
lion." 

" And every one who passes through Weimar 
must throw a book upon his grave, as travellers 
did of old a stone upon the grave of Manfredi, at 
Benevento. But, of all that has been said or 
sung, what most pleases me is Heine's Apologetic, 
if I may so call it; in which he says, that the 
minor poets, who flourished under the imperial 



182 HYPERION, 

reign of Goethe 'resemble a young forest, where 
the trees first show their own magnitude after 
the oak of a hundred years, whose branches 
had towered above and overshadowed them, has 
fallen. There was not wanting an opposition, 
that strove against Goethe, this majestic tree. 
Men of the most warring opinions united them- 
selves for the contest. The adherents of the old 
faith, the orthodox, were vexed, that, in the trunk 
of the vast tree, no niche with its holy image was 
to be found ; nay, that even the naked Dryads of 
paganism were permitted to play their witchery 
there ; and gladly, with consecrated axe, would 
they have imitated the holy Boniface, and levelled 
the enchanted oak to the ground. The followers 
of the new faith, the apostles of liberalism, were 
vexed on the other hand, that the tree could not 
serve as the Tree of Liberty, or, at any rate, as a 
barricade. In fact the tree was too high ; no one 
could plant the red cap upon its summit, or dance 
the Carmagnole beneath its branches. The mul- 
titude, however, venerated this tree for the very 



A ROMANCE. 183 

reason, that it reared itself with such independent 
grandeur, and so graciously filled the world with 
its odor, while its branches, streaming magnificent- 
ly toward heaven, made it appear, as if the stars 
were only the golden fruit of its wondrous limbs.' 
Don't you think that beautiful ? " 

" Yes, very beautiful. And I am glad to see, 
that you can find something to admire in my fa- 
vorite author, notwithstanding his frailties ; or, to 
use an old German saying, that you can drive 
the hens out of the garden without trampling 
down the beds." 

"Here is the old gentleman himself!" exclaim- 
ed Flemraing. 

" Where ! " cried the Baron, as if for the mo- 
ment he expected to see the living figure of the 
poet walking before them. 

" Here at the window, — that full-length cast. 
Excellent, is it not! He is dressed, as usual, in 
his long yellow nankeen surtout, with a white cra- 
vat crossed in front. What a magnificent head ! 
and what a posture ! He stands like a tower of 



184 HYPERION, 

Strength. And, by Heavens ! he was nearly 
eighty years old, when that was made." 

" How do you know ? " 

" You can see by the date on the pedestal." 

" You are right. And yet how erect he stands, 
with his square shoulders braced back, and his 
hands behind him. He looks as if he were stand- 
ing before the fire. I feel tempted to put a live 
coal into his hand, it Hes so invitingly half-open. 
Gleim's description of him, soon after he went to 
Weimar, is very different from this. Do you 
recollect it ? " 

" No, I do not." 

" It is a story, which good old father Gleim 
used to tell with great delight. He was one 
evening reading the Gottingen Musen-Almanach 
in a select society at Weimar, when a young man 
came in, dressed in a short, green shooting-jacket, 
booted and spurred, and having a pair of brilliant, 
black, Italian eyes. He in turn offered to read ; 
but finding probably the poetry of the Musen- 
Almanach of that year rather too insipid for him, 



A ROMANCE. 185 

he soon began to improvise the wildest and most 
fantastic poems imaginable, and in all possible forms 
and measures, all the while pretending to read from 
the book. ^ That is either Goethe or the Devil/ 
said good old father Gleim to Wieland, who sat 
near him. To which the ' Great I of Osmann- 
stadt ' replied ; ^ It is both, for he has the Devil in 
him to-night ; and at such times he is like a wan- 
ton colt, that flings out before and behind, and you 
will do well not to go too near him ! ' " 

" Very good ! " 

" And now that noble figure is but mould. Only 
a few months ago, those majestic eyes looked 
for the last time on the light of a pleasant spring 
morning. Calm, like a god, the old man sat ; and 
with a smile seemed to bid farewell to the fight of 
day, on which he had gazed for more than eighty 
years. Books were near him, and the pen which 
had just dropped, as it were from his dying fingers. 
' Open the shutters, and let in more light ! ' were 
the last words that came from those lips. Slowly 
stretching forth his hand, he seemed to write in 



186 HYPERION, 

the air ; and, as it sank down again and was mo- 
tionless, the spirit of the old man departed." 

" And yet the world goes on. It is strange how 
soon, when a great man dies, his place is filled ; 
and so completely, that he seems no longer wanted. 
But let us step in here. I wish to buy that cast ; 
and send it home to a friend." 



A ROMANCE. 187 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE DAYLIGHT OF THE DWARFS, AND THE 
FALLING STAR. 

After lingering a day or two in Frankfort, the 
two friends struck across through Hochheim to the 
Rhine, and then up among the hills of the Rhein- 
gau to Schlangenbad, where they tarried only to 
bathe, and to dine ; and then pursued their way 
to Langenschwalbach. The town lies in a val- 
ley, with gently-sloping hills around it, and long 
avenues of poplars leading forth into the fields. 
One interminable street cuts the town in twain, 
and there are old houses with curious faces carved 
upon their fronts, and dates of the olden time. 

Our travellers soon sallied forth from their ho- 
tel, impatient to' drink the strength-giving waters 



188 HYPERION, 

of the fountains. They continued their walk far 
up the valley under the poplars. The new grain 
was waving in the fields ; the birds singing in the 
trees and in the air ; and every thing seemed 
glad, gave a poor old man, who came tottering 
out of the woods, with a heavy bundle of sticks 
on his shoulders. 

Returning upon their steps, they passed down 
the valley and through the long street to the 
tumble-down old Lutheran church. A flight of 
stone steps leads from the street to the green ter- 
race or platform on which the church stands, and 
which, in ancient times, was the churchyard, or as 
the Germans more devoutly say, God's-acre ; where 
generations are scattered like seeds, and that which 
is sown in corruption shall be raised hereafter in 
incorruption. On the steps stood an old man, — 
a very old man, — holding a little girl by the 
hand. He took off his greasy cap as they passed, 
and wished them good day. His teeth were 
gone ; he could hardly articulate a syllable. The 
Baron asked him how old the church was. He 



A ROMANCE. 189 

gave no answer ; but when the question was re- 
peated, came close up to them, and taking off his 
cap again, turned his ear attentively, and said ; 

" I am hard of hearing." 

"Poor old man," said Flemming; "He is as 
much a ruin as the church we are entering. It 
will not be long before he, too, shall be sown as 
seed in this God's-acre ! " 

The little girl ran into a house close at hand, 
and brought out the great key. The church door 
swung open, and, descending a few steps, they 
passed through a low-roofed passage into the 
church. All was in ruin. The gravestones in 
the pavement were started from their places; 
the vaults beneath yawned ; the roof above was 
falling piecemeal ; there were rents in the old 
tower; and mysterious passages, and side doors 
with crazy flights of wooden steps, leading down 
into the churchyard. Amid all this ruin, one 
thing only stood erect ; it was a statue of a knight 
in armour, standing in a niche under the pulpit. 

" Who is this ? " said Flemming to the old sex- 



190 HyPERION, 

ton; "who is this, that stands here so solemnly in 
marble, and seems to be keeping guard over the 
dead men below ? " 

" I do not know," replied the old man ; " but I 
have heard my grandfather say it was the statue 
of a great warrior ! " 

" There is history for you ! " exclaimed the 
Baron. " There is fame ! To have a statue of 
marble, and yet have your name forgotten by the 
sexton of your parish, who can remember only, 
that he once heard his grandfather say, that you 
were a great warrior ! " 

Flemming made no reply, for he was thinking 
of the days, when from that old pulpit, some bold 
reformer thundered down the first tidings of a new 
doctrine, and the roof echoed with the grand old 
hymns of Martin Luther. 

When he communicated his thoughts to the 
Baron, the only answer he received was ; 

" After all, what is the use of so much preach- 
ing ? Do you think the fishes, that heard the ser- 
mon of St. Anthony, were any better than those 



A ROMANCE. 191 

who did not ? I commend to your favorable 
notice the fish-sermon of this saint, as recorded 
by Abraham a Santa Clara. You will find it in 
your favorite Wonder-Horn." 

Thus passed the day at Langenschwalbach ; and 
the evening at the Allee-Saal was quite solitary ; 
for as yet no company had arrived to fill its cham- 
bers, or sit under the trees before the door. The 
next morning even Flemming and the Baron were 
gone ; for the German's heart was beating with 
strong desire to embrace his sister ; and the heart 
of his friend cared little whither he went, sobeit 
he were not too much alone. 

After a few hours' drive, they were looking 
down from the summit of a hill right upon the 
house-tops of Ems. There it lay, deep sunk in 
the hollow beneath them, as if some inhabitant 
of Sirius, like him spoken of in Voltaire's tale 
of Micromegas, held it in the hollow of his 
hand. High and peaked rise the hills, that throw 
their shadows into this romantic valley, and at 
their base winds the river Lahn. Our travellers 



192 HYPERION, 

drove through the one long street, composed entire- 
ly of hotels and lodging-houses. Sick people looked 
out of the windows, as the}'- passed. Others were 
walking leisurely up and down, beneath the few 
decapitated trees, which represent a public prom- 
enade ; and a boy, with a blue frock and crimson 
cap, was driving three donkeys down the street. 
In short, they were in a fashionable watering- 
place ; as yet sprinkled only by a few pattering 
drops of the summer rain of strangers, which gen- 
erally follows the first hot days. 

On alighting at the London Hotel, the Baron 
found — not his sister, but only a letter from her, 
saying she had changed her mind and gone to the 
Baths of Franconia. This was a disappointment, 
which the Baron pocketed with the letter, and said 
not a word more about either. It was his way ; 
his life-philosophy in small things and great. In 
the evening, they went to an aesthetic tea, at the 
house of the Frau Kranich, the wife of a rich 
banker of Frankfort. 

" I must tell you about this Frau Kranich," 



A ROMANCE. 193 

said the Baron to Flemming, on the way. " She 
is a woman of talent and beauty, and just in the 
prime of hfe. But, unfortunately, very ambitious. 
Her mania is, to make a figure in the fashionable 
world ; and to this end she married a rich banker 
of Frankfort, old enough to be her father, not to 
say her grandfather, hoping, doubtless, that he 
would soon die ; for, if ever a woman wished to be 
a widow, she is that woman. But the old fellow 
is tough and won't die. Moreover, he is deaf, and 
crabbed, and penurious, and half the time bed- 
ridden. The wife is a model of virtue, notwith- 
standing her weakness. She nurses the old gentle- 
man as if he were a child. And, to -crown all, he 
hates society, and will not hear of his wife's re- 
ceiving or going into company." 

" How, then, can she give soirees ? " asked 
Flemming. 

"I was just going to tell you," continued the 
Baron. " The gay lady has no taste for long eve- 
nings with the old gentleman in the back cham- 
ber ; — for being thus chained like a criminal un- 

VOL. I. 9 



194 HYPERION, 

der Mezentius, face to face with a dead body. So 
she puts him to bed first, and " 

" Gives him opium." 

" Yes, I dare say ; and then gives herself a 
soiree, without his knowing any thing about it. 
This course of deception is truly hateful in itself, 
and must be particularly so to her, for she is not 
a low, or an immoral woman ; but one of those 
who, not having strength enough to complete the 
sacrifice they have had strength enough to com- 
mence, are betrayed into a life of duplicity and 
falsehood." 

They had now reached the house, and were 
ushered into a room gaily lighted and filled with 
guests. The hostess came forward to receive them, 
dressed in white, and sailing down the room like a 
swan. When the customary salutations had pass- 
ed and Flemming had been duly presented, the 
Baron said, not without a certain degree of malice ; 

" And, my dear Frau Kranich, how is your good 
husband to night ? " 

This question was about as discreet as a can- 



A ROMANCE. 195 

non-ball. But the lady replied in the simplicity 
of her heart, and not in the least disconcerted ; 

" The same as ever, my dear Baron. It is as- 
tonishing how he holds out. But let us not talk of 
these things now. I must introduce your friend to 
his countryman, the Grand Duke of Mississippi ; 
alike remarkable for his wealth, his modesty, and 
the extreme simplicity of his manners. He drives 
only six horses. Besides, he is known as a man of 
learning and piety; — has his private chapel, and 
private clergyman, who always preaches against 
the vanity of worldly riches. He has also a private 
secretary, whose sole duty is to smoke to him, that 
he may enjoy the aroma of Spanish cigars, without 
the trouble of smoking." 

" Decidedly a man of genius ! " 

Here Flemming was introduced to his illustrious 
countryman ; a person who seemed to consist chief- 
ly of linen, such a display did he make of collar, 
bosom, and wristbands. 

"Pray, Mr. Flemming, what do you think of 
that Rembrandt ? " said he, pointing to a picture on 



196 HYPERION, 

the wall. " Exquisite picture ! The grandeur of 
sentiment and splendor of chiaroscuro are of the 
first order. Just observe the liquidity of the wa- 
ter, and the silveryness of the clouds ! Great 
power ! There is a bravura of handling in that 
picture, Sir, which requires the eye of the con- 
noisseur to appreciate." 

" Yes, a most undoubted — copy ! " 

And here their conversation ended ; for at that 
moment the little Moldavian Prince Jerkin made 
his way through the crowd, with his snufF-box as 
usual in his hand, and hurried up to Flemming 
whom he had known in Heidelberg. He was 
eager to let every one know that he spoke Eng- 
lish, and in his haste began by making a mistake. 

'^ Good bye ! Good bye ! Mr. Flemming ! " 
said he, instead of good evening. " I am ravished 
to see you in Ems. Nice place ; — all that there 
is of most nice. I drink my water and am good ! 
Do you not think the Frau Kranich has a very 
beautiful leather ? " 

He meant skin. Flemming laughed outright; 



A ROMANCE. 197 

but it was not perceived by the Prince, because at 
that moment he was pushed aside, in the rush of a 
gallopade, and Flemming beheld his face no more. 
At the same moment the Baron introduced a 
friend of his, who also spoke English and said ; 

" You will sup with me to-night. I have some 
Rhine-wine, which will be a seduction to you." 

Soon after, the Baron stood with an impassioned, 
romantic lady leaning on his arm, examining a 
copy of Raphael's Fornarina. 

" Ach ! I wish I had been the Fornarina," 
sighed the impassioned, romantic lady. 

*' Then, my dear Madam," replied the Baron, 
"I wish I had been Raphael." 

And so likewise said to himself a very tall man 
with fiery red hair, and fancy whiskers, who was 
waltzing round and round in one spot, and in a 
most extraordinary waistcoat ; thus representing a 
fiery, floating-light, to warn men of the hidden 
rocks, on which the breath of vanity drives them 
shipwreck. At length, his partner, tired of spin- 



198 HYPERION, 

ning, sank upon a sofa, like a child's top, when it 
reels and falls. 

" You do not like the waltz? " said an elderly- 
French gentleman, remarking the expression of 
Flemming's countenance. 

" O yes ; among the figurantes of the Opera. 
But I confess, it sometimes makes me shudder to 
see a young rake clasp his arms round the waist of 
a pure and innocent girl. What would you say, 
were you to see him sitting on a sofa with his arms 
round your wife ? '' 

" Mere prejudice of education," replied the 
French gentleman. " I know that situation. I 
have read all about it in the Bibliotheque de Ro- 
mans Choisis ! " 

And merrily went the dance; and bright eyes 

and flushed cheeks were not wanting among the 

dancers ; 

" And they waxed red, and waxed warm, 
And rested, panting, arm in arm," 

and the Strauss-walzes sounded pleasantly in the 
ears of Flemming, who, though he never danced, 



A ROMANCE. 199 

yet, like Henry of Ofterdingen, in the Romance of 
NovaliSj thought to music. The wheeHng waltz 
set the wheels of his fancy going. And thus the 
moments glided on, and the footsteps of Time 
were not heard amid the sound of music and 
voices. 

But suddenly this scene of gayety was inter- 
rupted. The door opened wide ; and the short 
figure of a gray-haired old man presented itself, 
with a flushed countenance and wild eyes. He 
was but half-dressed, and in his hand held a silver 
candlestick without a light. A sheet was wound 
round his head, like a turban ; and he tottered 
forward with a vacant, bewildered look, exclaim- 
ing ; 

^' I am Mahomet, the king of the Jews ! " 
At the same moment he fell in a swoon ; and 
was borne out of the room by the servants. Flem- 
ming looked at the lady of the festival, and she 
was deadly pale. For a moment all was confu- 
sion ; and the dance and the music stopped. The 



200 HYPERION, 

impression produced on the company was at once 
ludicrous and awful. They tried in vain to rally. 
The whole society was like a dead body, from 
which the spirit has departed. Ere long the guests 
had all dispersed, and left the lady of the mansion 
to her mournful, expiring lamps, and still more 
mournful reflections. 

" Truly," said Flemming, to the Baron, as they 
wended their way homeward, "this seems not 
like reality ; but like one of the sharp contrasts 
we find in novels. Who shall say, after this, that 
there is not more romance in real life, than we find 
written in books ! " 

" Not more romance," said the Baron, " but a 
different romance." 

A still more tragic scene had been that evening 
enacted in Heidelberg. Just as the sun set, 
two female figures walked along the romantic 
woodland path-way, leading to the Angel's Mead- 
ow, a little green opening on the brow of one of 
the high hills, which see themselves in the Neckar 
and hear the solemn bells of Kloster-Neuburg. 



A ROMANCE. 201 

The evening shadows were falling broad and long ; 
and the cuckoo began to sing. 

" Cuckoo ! Cuckoo ! " said the eldest of the 
two figures, repeating an old German popular 
rhyme, 

* Cuckoo ! Cuckoo ! 
Tell me true, 
Tell me fair and fine, 
How long must I unmarried pine ! ' " 

It was the voice of an evil spirit, that spoke in 
the person of Madeleine ; and the pale and shrink- 
ing figure, that walked by her side, and listened 
to those words, was Emma of Ilmenau. A young 
man joined them, where the path turns into the 
thick woodlands ; and they disappeared among the 
shadowy branches. It was the Polish Count. 

The forget-me-nots looked up to heaven with 
their meek blue eyes, from their home in the 
Angel's Meadow. Calmly stood the mountain of 
All-Saints, in its majestic, holy stillness ; — the 
river flowed so far below, that the murmur of its 
9* 



202 HYPERION, 

waters was not heard ; — there was not a sigh of 
the evening wind among the leaves, — not a sound 
upon the earth nor in the air ; — and yet that 
night there fell a star from heaven ! 



A ROMANCE. 203 



CHAPTER X. 



THE PARTING. 



It was now that season of the year, which an 
old English writer calls the amiable month of 
June, and at that hour of the day, when, face to 
face, the rising moon beholds the setting sun. As 
yet the stars were few in heaven. But, after 
the heat of the day, the coolness and the twilight 
descended like a benediction upon the earth, by all 
those gentle sounds attended, which are the meek 
companions of the night. 

Flemraing and the Baron had passed the after- 
noon at the Castle. They had rambled once 
more together, and for the last time, over the 
magnificent ruin. On the morrow they were to 
part, perhaps forever. The Baron was going to 
Berlin, to join his sister ; and Flemming, driven 



204 HYPERION, 

forward by the restless spirit within him, longed 
once more for a change of scene, and was going to 
the Tyrol and Switzerland. Alas 1 he never said 
to the passing hour ; " Stay, for thou art fair ! " 
but reached forward into the dark future, with 
unsatisfied longings and aimless desires, that were 
never still. 

As the day was closing, they sat down on the 
terrace of Elisabeth's Garden. The sun had 
set beyond the blue Alsatian hills ; and on the val- 
ley of the Rhine fell the purple mist, like the man- 
tle of the departing prophet from his fiery chariot. 
Over the castle walls, and the trees of the garden, 
rose the large moon ; and between the contending 
daylight and moonlight there were as yet no 
shadows. But at length the shadows came ; trans- 
parent and faint outlines, that deepened into form. 
In the valley below only the river gleamed, like 
steel ; and here and there the lamps were lighted 
in the town. Solemnly stood the leafy linden- 
trees in the garden near them, their trunks in 
darkness and their summits bronzed with moon- 



A ROMANCE. 205 

light ; and in his niche in the great round tower, 
overhung with ivy, hke a majestic phantom, stood 
the gray statue of Louis, with his venerable beard, 
and shirt of mail, and flowing mantle ; and the 
mild, majestic countenance looked forth into the 
silent night, as the countenance of a seer, who 
reads the stars. At intervals the wind of the 
summer night passed through the ruined castle 
and the trees, and they sent forth a sound as if 
nature were sighing in her dreams ; and for a mo- 
ment overhead the broad leaves gently clashed to- 
gether, like brazen cymbals, with a tinkling sound ; 
and then all was still, save the sweet, passionate 
song of nightingales, that nowhere upon earth 
sing more sweetly than in the gardens of Heidel- 
berg Castle. 

The hour, the scene, and the near-approaching 
separation of the two young friends, had filled their 
hearts with a pleasant, though at the same time 
not painless excitement. They had been con- 
versing about the magnificent old ruin, and the 
ages in which it had been built, and the vicissi- 



206 HYPERION, 

tudes of time and war, that had battered down its 
walls, and left it " tenantless, save to the crannying 
wind." 

" How sorrowful and sublime is the face of that 
statue yonder," said Flemming. " It reminds me 
of the old Danish hero Beowulf; for careful, sor- 
rowing, he seeth in his son's bower the wine- 
hall deserted, the resort of the wind, noiseless ; 
the knight sleepeth ; the warrior lieth in dark- 
ness ; there is no noise of the harp, no joy in the 
dwellings, as there was before." 

"Even as you say," replied the Baron; "but 
it often astonishes me, that, coming from that fresh 
green world of yours beyond the sea, you should 
feel so much interest in these old things ; nay, at 
times, seem so to have drunk in their spirit, as 
really to live in the times of old. For my part, I 
do not see what charm there is in the pale and 
wrinkled countenance of the Past, so to entice the 
soul of a young man. It seems to me like falling 
in love with one's grandmother. Give me the 
Present ; — warm, glowing, palpitating with hfe. 



A ROMANCE. 207 

She is my mistress ; and the Future stands waiting 
like my wife that is to be, for whom, to tell the 
truth, I care very little just now. Indeed, my 
friend, I wish you would take more heed of this 
philosophy of mine ; and not waste the golden 
hours of youth in vain regrets for the past, and 
indefinite, dim longings for the future. Youth 
comes but once in a lifetime." 

" Therefore," said Flemming ; " let us so enjoy 
it as to be still young when we are old. For my 
part, I grow happier as I grow older. When I 
compare my sensations and enjoyments now, with 
what they were ten years ago, the comparison is 
vastly in favor of the present. Much of the fever 
and fretfalness of life is over. The world and I 
look each other more calmly in the face. My 
mind is more self-possessed. It has done me good 
to be somewhat parched by the heat and drenched 
by the rain of life." 

" Now you speak like an old philosopher," an- 
swered the Baron, laughing. " But you deceive 
yourself. I never knew a more restless, feverish 



208 HYPERION, 

spirit than yours. Do not think you have gained 
the mastery yet. You are only riding at anchor 
here in an eddy of the stream ; you will soon be 
swept away again in the mighty current and whirl 
of accident. Do not trust this momentary calm. 
I know you better than you know yourself. 
There is something Faust-hke in you ; you would 
fain grasp the highest and the deepest ; and ' reel 
from desire to enjoyment, and in enjoyment lan- 
guish for desire.' When a momentary change of 
feeling comes over you, you think the change per- 
manent, and thus live in constant self-deception." 

" I confess," said Flemming, " there may be 
some truth in what you say. There are times 
when my soul is restless ; and a voice sounds 
within me, hke the trump of the archangel, and 
thoughts that were buried, long ago, come out of 
their graves. At such times my favorite occupa- 
tions and pursuits no longer charm me. The 
quiet face of Nature seems to mock me." 

" There certainly are seasons," replied the 
Baron, " when Nature seems not to sympathize 



A ROMANCE. 209 

with her beloved children. She sits there so 
eternally calm and self-possessed, so very moth- 
erly and serene, and cares so little whether the 
heart of her child breaks or not, that at times I 
almost lose my patience. About that, too, she 
cares so httle, that, out of sheer obstinacy, I be- 
come good-humored again, and then she smiles." 
" I think we must confess, however," continued 
Flemming, " that all this springs from our own im- 
perfection, not from hers. How beautiful is this 
green world, which we inhabit ! See yonder, how 
the moonlight mingles with the mist ! What a 
glorious night is this ! Truly every man has a 
Paradise around him until he sins, and the angel of 
an accusing conscience drives him from his Eden. 
And even then there are holy hours, when this 
angel sleeps, and man comes back, and, with the 
innocent eyes of a child, looks into his lost Para- 
dise again, — into the broad gates and rural soli- 
tudes of Nature. I feel this often. We have 
much to enjoy in the quiet and retirement of our 



210 HYPERION, 

own thouo-bts. Boisterous mirth and loud lauorh- 

o o 

ter are not my mood. I love that tranquillity of 
soul, in which we feel the blessing of existence, 
and which in itself is a prayer and a thanksgiving. 
I find, however, that, as 1 grow older, I love the 
country less, and the city more." 

" Yes," interrupted the Baron ; " and presently 
you will love the city less and the country more. 
Say at once, that you have an undefined longing for 
both ; and prefer town or country, according to 
the mood you are in. I think a man must be of a 
very quiet and happy nature, who can long en- 
dure the country ; and, moreover, very well con- 
tented with his own insignificant person, very 
self-complacent, to be continually occupied with 
himself and his own thoughts. To say the least, 
a city life makes one more tolerant and liberal in 
his judgment of others. One is not eternally 
wrapped up in self-contemplation ; which, after all, 
is only a more holy kind of vanity." 

In conversation like this, the hours glided away; 
till at length, from the Giant's Tower, the Castle 



n» 



A ROMANCE. 211 

clock Struck twelve, with a sound that seemed to 
come from the Middle 7\ges. Like watchmen 
from their belfries the city clocks answered it, one 
by one. Then distant and muffled sounds were 
heard. Inarticulate words seemed to blot the fog- 
gy air, as if written on wet paper. These were 
the bells of Handschuhsheimer, and of other vil- 
lages on the broad plain of the Rhine, and among 
the hills of the Odenwald ; mysterious sounds, that 
seemed not of this world. 

Beneath them, in the shadow of the hills, lay 
the valley, like a fathomless, black gulf; and above 
were the cloistered stars, that, nun-like, walk the 
holy aisles of heaven. The city was asleep in the 
valley below; all asleep and silent, save the clocks, 
that had just struck twelve, and the veering, golden 
weathercocks, that were swimming in the moon- 
shine, like golden fishes, in a glass vase. And 
again the w^ind of the summer night passed through 
the old Castle, and the trees, and the nightingales 
recorded under the dark, shadowy leaves, and the 
heart of Flemmins: was full. 



212 HYPERION, 

When he had retired to his chamber, a feeling 
of utter lonehness came over him. The night 
before one begins a journey is always a dismal 
night ; for, as Byron says, 

" In leaving even the most unpleasant people 
And places, one keeps looking at the steeple ! " 

And how much more so when the place and peo- 
ple are pleasant ; as was the case with those, that 
Flemming was now leaving. No wonder he was 
sad and sleepless. Thoughts came and went, and 
bright and gloomy fancies, and dreams and visions, 
and sweet faces looked under his closed eyelids, 
and vanished away, and came again, and again de- 
parted. He heard the clock strike from hour to 
hour, and said, " Another hour is gone." At length 
the birds began to sing ; and ever and anon the 
cock crew. He arose, and looked forth into the 
gray dawn ; and before him lay the city he was so 
soon to leave, all white and ghastly, hke a city 
that had arisen from its grave. 

" All things must change," said he to the Baron, 
as he embraced him, and held him by the hand. 



A ROMANCE. 213 

" Friends must be torn asunder, and swept along 
in the current of events, to see each other seldom, 
and perchance no more. For ever and ever in the 
eddies of time and accident we whirl away. Be- 
sides which, some of us have a perpetual motion in 
our wooden heads, as Wodenblock had in his 
wooden leg ; and like him we travel on, without 
rest or sleep, and have hardly time to take a friend 
by the hand in passing ; and at length are seen 
hurrying through some distant land, worn to a 
skeleton, and all unknown." 



END OF VOL. I. 




1. 



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